Axel Tuanzebe.

Solskjaer hints Tuanzebe could face Aston Villa

Friday 29 November 2019 10:31

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that Axel Tuanzebe may feature against his former loan club Aston Villa on Sunday – and could even deliver the team talk!

The powerful defender enjoyed two temporary spells at Villa Park, initially playing there from January to June of 2018, before completing the full 2018/19 campaign with the Midlands side. 

Tuanzebe was a pivotal part of the Villa squad that won promotion to the Premier League and the 22-year-old's knowledge of their strengths, and potential weaknesses, could be useful at Old Trafford this weekend.

Solskjaer has joked that he may tap into Tuanzebe's info ahead of Sunday’s kick-off, when Axel could find himself in the starting XI after a composed performance against Astana in the Europa League.
Solskjaer's pre-match press conference Video

Solskjaer's pre-match press conference

In his pre-match press conference, the boss told reporters a key midfielder could return ahead of Aston Villa's visit...

“Axel can do the team talk for us!” Ole admitted to reporters in Kazakhstan. “Axel has done fantastic and he’s played for 90 minutes, after five minutes or 10 minutes against Sheffield United as well. 

“He’s fit now and available and, as you said, he did well today. 

“He gives me another headache but it’s a good headache. We’ve got players coming back. We’ve suffered from injuries badly and now we’re getting more and more back that will only help us.”

Solskjaer also has a selection dilemma at left-back after last season’s Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year, Luke Shaw, returned from injury during Thursday’s European fixture in Nur-Sultan. 

The England international is now competing with veteran defender Ashley Young and youth product Brandon Williams for that starting berth. The latter could be the favourite to start on Sunday after being rested from the trip to Kazakhstan and getting the nod against Sheffield United in our last Premier League match.

“I think the performances of Brandon have been a big, big plus,” explained Solskjaer after the loss to Astana. “And not just for him and me, but it's also [encouraging] for Ethan Laird and you could see that against Astana. He’s played with Brandon through the years and for me it’s also a big boost for Ethan. 

“We’ve got many full-backs, we’ve got loads of them who compete, and I’ve been very pleased with Brandon. He scored a great goal [against Sheffield United]. Let’s see where we’re at but it’s great to have Luke play through 90 minutes today. Let’s see what we do for Sunday.”

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