Axel Tuanzebe is considered as one of the most promising youngsters to come through the youth ranks at Manchester United in recent years.
The defender has not yet had a proper chance in the first team though. He managed just 8 senior appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils in the last 3 seasons. Hence, it came as no surprise when he was sent on loan to Aston Villa in January.
But it wasn’t a very successful loan spell as the 20-year-old struggled for game time due to an ankle injury. All in all, he played just 5 matches in the Championship, the last of which came in April. But Villa boss Steve Bruce is keen on giving Tuanzebe another chance.
In fairness, Tuanzebe didn’t really shine while at Villa Park. The England Under-21 international, who is a versatile player, was used mainly as a full-back by Bruce, although he prefers to play as a centre-back. It might be a reason as to why he didn’t perform as well as expected at Villa.
Now that John Terry has left Aston Villa, it makes sense for the club to reach out to Tuanzebe again. There have been reports that James Chester could also leave Villa Park this summer. If that happens, Bruce will need more options at the heart of his defence, and getting Tuanzebe might turn out to be useful.
Looking at the player in a more detailed fashion, Tuanzebe is confident on the ball. He is physically strong and defensively disciplined. He possesses leadership qualities as he was a captain of the Manchester United Under-18s.
From Tuanzebe’s point of view, it would be a good option for him to spend a whole season in the Championship. He will gain experience and he will be at a club, who are expected to mount another promotion push next season.
It might be a gamble for Aston Villa to sign him again, owing to his injury record. But if he manages to steer clear of injuries, Tuanzebe can become an important player and help Villa achieve their goals.