Manchester United are reportedly set to offer a new contract to academy graduate Axel Tuanzebe, after his impressive loan spell with Aston Villa.
Manchester United starlet Axel Tuanzebe could be handed a new long-term contract by the club, after his impressive performances while on loan at Aston Villa in the 2018-19 campaign, according to a report from The Sun.
Tuanzebe, 21, is a product of the Manchester United academy and has gone on to make eight first-appearances till date, having made his debut back in January 2017 under then manager Jose Mourinho. The Englishman has spent the past eighteen months away on loan at Aston Villa and has made a strong impression during his time with the Midlands club.
Tuanzebe had established himself as a mainstay at the back for the Villans, helping them to promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs, despite missing close to three months of action due to a metatarsal fracture towards the end of the last year. He ended the campaign with 30 appearances across all competitions, with an assist to his name.
Tuanzebe’s displays for Aston Villa have seemingly impressed Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who hinted at a possible role for the England U-21 star in the next season. And given that the 21-year-old has just an year left on his contract with the Red Devils, the club are planning to address the situation by handing a new long-term deal.
By doing so, the 20-time English champions will be securing the long-term future of a talented, young player with immense potential, while also protecting themselves from the risk of losing their academy product for no transfer fee in the summer of 2020, should things fail to work out as planned.
Manchester United’s struggles at the back are no secret. The Red Devils shipped 54 goals in the 2018-19 Premier League campaign and are in dire need of defensive reinforcements ahead of the next season. A number of defenders have been linked with a summer switch to Old Trafford, while there is a good possibility that Marcos Rojo could be sold.
This could lead to Tuanzebe getting a role in the first-team in the 2019-20 term, although that is likely to depend on how he fares in Manchester United’s pre-season campaign. A return to Aston Villa remains a possibility for the defender, as Dean Smith’s side are keen on re-signing him back on loan for another season.
Irrespective of whether Tuanzebe stays at Manchester United or is sent out for another loan spell next season, it is the right move by the club to offer him a new contract.