In a recent interview with Football Insider, former Premier League goalkeeper Paul Robinson labeled Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe as a perfect fit for Aston Villa this summer. Robinson said,
“At 23, if you’re not getting a sniff at your own club, it’s not a good sign.
“The under-23 league that’s been brought in gives people a false sense of security that you’re going to be a footballer at 23.
“If you’re 20 or 21 and you’re not training with the first team at that point, you’ve probably missed the boat.
“He’s (Tuanzebe) got quality. But I think for him, at this stage in his career, he’s not at Man United level. So he probably needs to move elsewhere.
“Somewhere like Aston Villa would be perfect for himself and for the good of his career.”
Tuanzebe’s Up And Downs Season At Old Trafford
Tuanzebe played a bit-part role at the Theatre of Dreams last season but still put in a few commanding performances at the centre of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defence. He took part in 19 matches for the Red Devils in the previous campaign, picking up seven yellow cards in the process across various competitions.
Despite playing a sporadic role, the 23-year-old did well to average 1.4 tackles and 1.7 clearances per 90 minutes in the 2020-21 Premier League season. He even distributed possession with a lot of conviction after completing 88.6% of his attempted passes in the English top tier (stats via whoscored).
Will Tuanzebe Be A Good Choice For The Villans?
On his day, Tuanzebe can be a reliable presence inside his half as he can scan the danger quickly and is proficient at getting stuck in with some solid tackles to hamper the opponent’s rhythm in the game. The English sensation doesn’t take too many risks with his clearances and is not shy of putting his body on the line to block a goal-bound shot from the opposition.
Tuanzebe ticks the right boxes in terms of what Aston Villa boss Dean Smith looks for in his defenders. He will undoubtedly increase competition for places within the Villans squad and even has what it takes to earn regular first-team football at Villa Park next season. Plus, the Red Devils player is versatile enough to play in multiple positions across the backline. He is primarily a central defender but can also fill in as a right-back if needed.
The English talent could on to form a strong defensive partnership with Tyronne Mings and Ezri Konsa but there are some concerns over whether he can steer clear of injuries as he has missed a lot of games for Man United because of it in recent seasons.
With all things considered, Tuanzebe could be a good choice for the West Midlands outfit as he will bolster Smith’s defensive options considerably this summer. Plus, his addition might be enough for the Villans to secure a top-half finish in the upcoming Premier League campaign.