In a recent interview with Football Insider, former England and Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson has urged Axel Tuanzebe to consider a departure from his boyhood club Manchester United, suggesting that a move to Villa Park would be perfect for him.
“At 23, if you’re not getting a sniff at your own club, it’s not a good sign.” – Robinson said.
“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 got quality. But I think for him, at this stage in his career, he’s not at the 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.”
Good Move For Both Parties?
Although there’s a cutthroat competition among the trio of Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, and Kortney Hause for a position in Dean Smith’s starting eleven, the 41-times England international believes that Aston Villa will be the ideal destination for the 23-year-old defender. Tuanzebe’s 2018/19 loan spell – where he helped the club win promotion to the Premier League via the Championship playoffs – might be one of the many possible reasons behind this belief.
The English centre-back has managed to feature just 28 times over the course of the last two seasons under the stewardship of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and with Manchester United interested in signing another first-choice defender (possibly Raphael Varane) in the ongoing transfer window; it’s highly unlikely that he’ll get regular run-outs next season.
He has a contract at Old Trafford until 2022 with the option of a one-year extension, so the club is in no hurry to cash in on him either. As a result, we firmly believe that another loan move could be on the cards.
Although the Englishman is a bit error-prone at the back, there’s no doubt about the wide range of defensive abilities he possesses – glimpses of which we saw against Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last October. Besides, his versatility allows him to operate down the right-hand side of the back-four when needed.
At 23, Tuanzebe still has a lot to offer, and if Dean Smith ends up securing his signature, he might very well help the Villains secure a top-half finish in the upcoming Premier League campaign.