Date: 13th December 2008 at 4:54pm
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Martin O’Neill believes that Ashley Young deserves to be on the same pedestal as Lionel Messi or Ronaldo.

Speaking to the Evening Mail, O’Neill continued to rave about Young following his sterling performance against Everton the other week.

Upon being asked if Young was good enough to be on the same pedestal at Messi or Ronaldo, O’Neill quipped:

“Yes, I`ve just put him on it.

“I`ve put him on it via my statement, not anything else. This is my opinion.

“I look at players. I see a lot of games in Europe, I watch a lot of football and you see a lot of functional players and then you have the players who are exceptional and Ashley Young is exceptional. I would pay to go and watch him.

“I think he is a world-class performer. It is an over-used phrase and I don`t use it too often, but he is an absolutely class player.”

O’Neill also doesn’t believe that Ashley has reached his peak yet, but he has certainly proven to be value for money given his ‘doubted’ £9 million move from Watford only a few seasons ago, and O’Neill is adamant there is a lot more to come from the 23 year old.

“He has far from reached his peak.

“If you look at other top quality players, players 22-23, who are absolutely brilliant, people like Messi and Ronaldo.

“You ask how can they improve. They just do. They just get better. They see the game differently than they might have done three games earlier.

“I notice teams now, home or away, the minute Ash picks it up there is double cover. He is a genuine threat and Premier League teams know it.”