Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe has been urged to sign for Aston Villa this summer by former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
What’s the story?
In an interview with Football Insider, Robinson encouraged the 23-year-old to move away from Old Trafford, suggesting Villa Park as the perfect destination for the centre back.
“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,” said Robinson.
“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 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, ” he concluded.
Should Villa sign Tuanzebe?
Dean Smith would love him
Tuanzebe has previous experience of playing for Villa, starring for the Midlands outfit throughout the 2018/19 campaign, making 30 appearances in all competitions as Dean Smith’s men achieved promotion to the Premier League.
After impressing at Villa Park, the £7.2 million-rated gem returned to his boyhood club amid high expectations over his future, but injuries and a lack of form have seen his game time become extremely limited.
In 2020/21, Tuanzebe made just 19 outings for the Red Devils, but he did impress Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when given his opportunity.
“He’s been very patient, worked very hard,” Solskjaer revealed following an impressive performance against Granada in the Europa League.
“Tonight, I think him and Victor were our outstanding performers. They kept us from any real pressure. They defended whatever came against them and, towards the end, there were a couple of corners there and Axel headed the crosses away. I’m delighted for him.”
With Bjorn Engels joining Royal Antwerp in his homeland, Smith is in need of added reinforcements in the heart of defence. And Villa’s director of football Johan Lange must convince Tuanzebe over a move to the Midlands.
His natural pace and strength match the attributes of current pair Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa, but Tuanzebe can also match the Villa pair when it comes to playing out from the back, meaning Smith would surely love to see him return to the club.