Why Manchester United must keep hold of Axel Tuanzebe this summer?
According to a report from The Daily Mail, Newcastle United are eyeing a move for Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe.
The Magpies boss Steve Bruce is looking for defensive reinforcements ahead of next week’s transfer deadline – particularly given he is looking at playing three at the back. And Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe is on his watch list ahead of the deadline.
Bruce is a huge admirer of Tuanzebe, having worked with the youngster while he was on loan at Aston Villa last term. But Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should reject any offers for the academy graduate and make him a big part of his plans next season.
Solskjaer knows his defence needs heavy reinforcing and has made Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire his top target. But a fee is yet to be agreed on with Leicester, with Brendan Rodgers’ side demanding a staggering £90million for the England international, claims the Express.
The Red Devils have been linked with Maguire all summer long, with Solskjaer determined to finally bring the England international to Old Trafford.
The Norwegian tactician has already lost defender Eric Bailly for the next four to five months and if he fails to bring in Maguire, United would be left with the likes of Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe.
Barring Lindelof, none of Jones, Smalling and Rojo was consistent at the back last season. Solskjaer wants his defenders to play out from the back — a trait which Jones and Smalling don’t possess. Rojo is a versatile defender but he is too injury-prone, meaning the Red Devils boss cannot rely upon him for the entire campaign.
That’s why United must keep hold of Tuanzebe this summer. He spent last season on loan at Aston Villa, helping Dean Smith side’s to Premier League promotion.
The versatile defender returned to Old Trafford and signed a new contract which will keep him at the club until 2022, with the option to extend for a further year.
While Tuanzebe isn’t guaranteed a starting berth at the Theatre of Dreams next term, Bailly’s injury coupled with the club’s incompetence to sign a new central defender might just open the door for regular opportunities.
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The 21-year-old is a ball-playing, strong and powerful defender who could make a very good partner for Lindelof if Solskjaer fails to land Maguire. The England youth international’s versatility to play at right-back and in defensive midfield could also come handy to the United boss.
Solskjaer and United know the potential and talents Tuanzebe possesses and hence have handed him a new contract. And after signing a bumper new deal, he’ll be raring to prove them right.