Young set to sign new Villa deal

The 25-year-old was linked with a possible move to Tottenham in the summer, but is very much in Houllier's plans for the club.

"Ashley, to me, has international qualities," said Houllier, who took over at Villa Park last month.

"He is clever, reads the game well, works hard, is quick, has got quick feet, can score goals, make goals, takes part in movements to prepare goals.

I want him to be a regular player [for England]

Gerard Houllier

"Whether he can play for the national team is not down to me to say yes or no.

"All I know is that we want the player to step up another level because he is on the fringe of the international team. I want him to be a regular player [for England]."

Stevenage-born Young has scored three goals in seven appearances this season and quickly made an impression on Houllier, who has also has been impressed by the form of midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker.

The 26-year-old fell out of favour under former boss Martin O'Neill, but has been reinstated in his preferred central role under the new regime.

Has Gerard Houllier saved Nigel Reo-Coker's career?

"I've been here two weeks, he has played two games. He is in the team," Houllier said.

"It is too early to say whether he will sign a new contract or not, but he brings something specific to the team which we needed."

Reo-Coker's deal at the club expires at the end of the season.

Source: BBC Sport