Axel Tuanzebe in action for Aston Villa.

Tuanzebe can have good future at United

Head of Academy Nicky Butt believes Axel Tuanzebe remains one for Manchester United’s future as the defender approaches the play-offs with Aston Villa.

The 21-year-old has overcome injury problems to emerge as a key figure for the Dean Smith‘s side, whose remarkable form comfortably clinched a place in the top six of the Championship to earn a crack at a return to the Premier League.

Axel Tuanzebe's mural at the Aon Training Complex.
Axel Tuanzebe's image adorns the walls of the Academy building at the Aon Training Complex.

Villa face Midlands rivals West Brom on Saturday before the second leg at The Hawthorns on Tuesday night, with a final against either Leeds United or Derby County awaiting the victors.

The centre-back is showing growing maturity during his second loan stint with the Birmingham-based outfit and has been closely monitored by Reds staff.

“Axel is a very talented boy, who I do believe is going to have a good career at Manchester United,” Butt told us. “There is no point sitting around not playing football and he’s gone to Aston Villa, who are a big, big club.

“He got injured but is back playing well again now and now he has a few big play-off games coming up.”

Axel Tuanzebe working hard.
Axel Tuanzebe has risen through the ranks at United.

Les Parry, United's Academy player performance manager, is tasked with keeping track of the Reds out on loan.

“He was doing ever so well when he got injured,” said Parry. “In fact, he was one of Villa's better players. Fortunately, it was a great time for him to come back as it was during the international break.

”It gave him time to settle back in at Villa Park before the first game so he could get up to speed again. Of course, we want all our lads to have that sort of experience, going to Wembley, as that is the sort of experience you need as you have got to get used to playing in big games.

“So the more big games the lads can play in, when they're out on loan, the better.”

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