Recent reports from Birmingham Live suggest that Aston Villa are keen on signing Manchester United centre-back Axel Tuanzebe on a season-long loan in the ongoing transfer window as Dean Smith looks set to add to his options at the back.
Bjorn Engels left the Villans earlier this summer to join Pro League side Royal Antwerp, and it is believed that Smith considers Tuanzebe as the ideal player to fill in the void left by the Belgian centre-back.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems convinced with the idea of a loan move as well.
“I can see Axel going out (on loan) because I’ve got Raphael, Maguire, Lindelof, Eric Bailly, and Phil Jones is coming back in.”
Good Move For Both Parties?
Although there’s a cutthroat competition among the trio of Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, and Kortney Hause for a position in Dean Smith’s starting eleven, we believe that Aston Villa will be the ideal destination for the 23-year-old defender. Despite a metatarsal fracture, the Englishman played a crucial role for the Villans during the 2018/19 loan spell, where he helped the club win promotion to the top-flight via the Championship playoffs.
Tuanzebe has managed to feature just 28 times over the course of the last two seasons under the stewardship of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and with Raphael Varane’s arrival, it’s improbable that he’ll get regular run-outs next season.
He managed to put up some promising numbers on the board last season as he averaged 1.4 tackles, 0.3 interceptions, 1.7 clearances, 1.9 long balls, and 0.6 blocks per 90 minutes in the Premier League (calculated over 5 appearances). Although the Englishman is a bit error-prone at the back, there’s no doubt about the wide array of defensive abilities he possesses – Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last October being the best example.
Nonetheless, his present contract at Old Trafford runs until 2022 with the option of a one-year extension, so the club is in no hurry to cash in on him. As a result, we firmly believe that another loan move is the best option ahead of the 2021/22 season if he wants to continue with his development.
At 23, Tuanzebe has a lot to offer, and if Dean Smith ends up bringing him to the Villa Park, he might as well help the Villains finish in the top half of the table in the forthcoming Premier League campaign.
(Stats from WhoScored)