Kevin Phillips believes Aston Villa should complete an ‘easy deal’ to sign Axel Tuanzebe permanently.
Aston Villa’s impressive transfer window included the arrival of Axel Tuanzebe from Manchester United. The defender’s arrival certainly boosts Dean Smith’s options at the back, especially given his versatile ability to play centrally and on the right.
He remains at Villa Park on a season-long loan deal, and the club could evaluate the idea of making a move permanent. Tuanzebe has two years left on his Manchester United deal, and with the current options available to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he may not need the defender anymore.
Tuanzebe had spent a period at Aston Villa before in the Championships and helped their subsequent promotion to the Premier League. However, he is back to familiar territory, and under a manager, he knows very well. Smith has equally placed his trust in the defender, who has started the last three games in the Premier League.
Tuanzebe gives the team more options defensively, not only from a positional sense but also allows Smith to change the shape of the backline. The versatile defender has played mostly in a central role and is slowly building momentum and importance in this team.
It’s fair to say, Tuanzebe has ousted Kourtney Hause as the third choice centre-back at the club. While the season is only five matchdays old, the sample size might be small right now. However, if he keeps those consistent performances coming whenever called upon, Smith might soon sit with the club to discuss a permanent transfer.
Former striker Kevin Phillips believes it should be pretty easy for Aston Villa to make his move permanent. He also suggested Tuanzebe’s time at Manchester United could well be over while lauding how he has settled at Villa in a short period.
Phillips said, “I think that will be an easy deal to do. He hasn’t got a future at Man United as far as I can tell, not now that they have signed Raphael Varane. Villa are a great club, so I’m not surprised he’s enjoying his time there. Get the deal done. He has settled in really well, which was to be expected given that he has already been at the club.
“It kind of smells of an easy deal to be done, but sometimes it can be more difficult than you’d hope. What kind of fee would Man United want? That’s the big question. From the outside looking in, it is a deal that I can see getting done, though.”
He could be a good signing for the long term, although Villa may have to knock on Manchester United’s doors to understand their demands for Tuanzebe. In hindsight, the fee demands may not be high as he’ll have just a year left at the end of the current season.