An update has emerged on Newcastle transfer target Axel Tuanzebe and it’s not good news for Steve Bruce.
What’s the talk?
Newcastle have been dealt a big transfer blow as Aston Villa have officially confirmed the signing of Axel Tuanzebe on loan from Manchester United for the 2021/22 campaign.
The Magpies were reportedly leading the race for his signature earlier this month, ahead of Villa, but have ultimately lost out to the Midlands outfit.
Is this a blow for Newcastle?
Bruce will be livid
Steve Bruce, in particular, will be livid with this news. The Magpies boss reportedly held talks with Manchester United earlier this month to give them guarantees that Tuanzebe will be a regular starter for them, which was said to have given Newcastle the upper hand in the transfer tussle between themselves and Villa.
However, those talks proved to be pointless in the end as Villa have been able to snap him up despite Bruce’s promises to United. It will now be interesting to see whether or not Tuanzebe plays regularly at Villa, as he seemingly would have on Tyneside. If he doesn’t, then Newcastle will be left wondering why he, or United, opted to agree to the move to Dean Smith’s team instead.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called Tuanzebe a tremendous defender after an excellent showing in the Champions League playing against Kylian Mbappe last year.
The Norwegian said: “Axel’s a tremendous defender, a great leader. He’s come through the academy and we’ve known for years that he’s going to be a top player for us and he’s got the character and the attitude that a Man United player should have.
Solskjaer added: “Sometimes you’ll get in a foot race with Mbappe and you have to run with him and we know Axel’s qualities, he’s a top defender.”
This shows the potential that the £38k-per-week enforcer has, as he was capable of putting in a top display in the Champions League against a player like Mbappe. Therefore, he could have been a good addition to Newcastle’s squad, provided that he could kick on and add consistency to his game with regular minutes, as he has only started six league games in the past two seasons.
Bruce will be frustrated that a player who has the potential to be a quality player for Newcastle has ended up joining one of their Premier League rivals.