Sir Alex Ferguson has offered a glimpse into how he intends to deploy his latest Manchester United signings.
Ashley Young, Phil Jones and David de Gea have all moved to Old Trafford since the club’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in the 2011 Champions League final.
Young, 25, arrived from Aston Villa in June for an undisclosed fee, and Ferguson is pleased with the options the versatile England international can give him.
“Ashley can play in more than one position,” Sir Alex told Inside United.
“He can play wide right, left, even behind the striker, so we have options there. But, initially, we’ll start him as a wide left player.”
The United boss also managed to beat rivals Liverpool to the signature of 19-year-old defender Jones from Blackburn Rovers.
The England Under-21 representative can play at centre-back or defensive midfield. Ferguson believes that – despite being primarily a player for the future – Jones has the talent to break into the first-team immediately.
He said: “We first identified Jones when he played for Blackburn’s youth team against us a couple of years ago when they beat us 3-0. He was absolutely magnificent.”
“You might think he might not play, but the ability he’s got and the determination he’s got, he could quite easily play. He’s the future obviously, but he could certainly come in right away.”
De Gea will compete to be first-choice goalkeeper with Anders Lindegaard, who performed impressively during the club’s pre-season tour of America.
The 20-year-old Spaniard will likely be regarded the first choice to replace retired shot-stopper Edwin van der Sar, however, and Ferguson is up front with his admiration of the young goalkeeper.
“We worked hard to get the deal done because it wasn’t easy,” the 69-year-old added.
“Atletico Madrid obviously regarded him very highly. But we managed to get it done and we’re delighted he joined us.
“The past is the past and Edwin (van der Sar) is part of the past. He had an incredible career with us, he was an incredible goalkeeper. But, hopefully, the future belongs to David De Gea.”