Tuanzebe signs new deal and goes on loan
Axel Tuanzebe will spend the 2021/22 campaign on loan at Aston Villa after agreeing a season-long move to the Premier League club.
The 23-year-old has also signed a new contract at Manchester United, lasting until June 2023 with the option of an additional year's extension.
It's a return to Villa Park for Tuanzebe who has already enjoyed two spells with the Midlands club, including in 2018/19 when he helped them achieve Championship play-off glory.
Having endured a difficult campaign last time out due to a couple of injuries, the highly rated centre-back will use this loan as a vital opportunity to assert himself and make an impression.
Tuanzebe has been with United from a very young age and has captained the club at every level, including the first team for a Carabao Cup game against Rochdale in September 2019, when he became the youngest man to wear the armband since Norman Whiteside.
He made his senior debut in 2017, the same year in which he was named Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year, and has made 37 appearances for the club.
Axel will return to the United set-up at the end of the 2021/22 season, at which point he'll then hope to stake a claim for a first-team starting spot at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a big fan of Tuanzebe's, but admitted recently that the English defender would need to go out on loan due to the prospective signing of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid.
"Of course, with Raphael coming in, I can see Axel going out," the manager explained.
In the past, the boss has said "we believe in the kid, that's for sure. We've always known Axel is a very good centre-back and if he keeps fit and stays fit he'll play a lot of games for us.
"He's got all the attributes a centre-back at Man United needs. He can play right-back and centre-mid. He played at left-back last season against Arsenal, a fantastic game.
"For me now, it's about keeping him injury-free, keeping him consistently out there on the training ground and playing games so he's got all the work, because he's missed too much football early on in his career.
"We knew he was due to be fit around about this time and he's worked really hard. We believe in the kid, that's for sure. He's proven that in glimpses but now it's about being consistent."
Hopefully Axel will get the chance to find that consistency and rhythm at Aston Villa, with the Birmingham-based side putting together an exciting squad for the new term after an impressive season last year.
Axel is the seventh United man to leave the club on loan this summer, following Tahith Chong (Birmingham City), Nathan Bishop (Mansfield Town), Reece Devine (St Johnstone), Facundo Pellistri (Alaves), Di'Shon Bernard (Hull City) and Will Fish (Stockport County).
Returning to an old stomping ground will make the transition simple and everyone at United wishes Axel the best of luck for 2021/22.