Axel Tuanzebe

Solskjaer excited for Tuanzebe's return

Monday 13 May 2019 11:00

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is relishing the chance to work with one of the club's brightest young prospects when his Manchester United squad reassemble after the summer break.

Young defender Axel Tuanzebe has spent the full season on loan to Aston Villa in the Championship and is preparing for what could be his last appearance - or two - in the claret and blue shirt as they take on West Bromwich Albion in the play-off semi-final second leg on Tuesday night; a Wembley clash with Derby County or Leeds United on 27 May is at stake.

In his final interview of the campaign - which you can read on Tuesday - Solskjaer shares his thoughts on the future of Tuanzebe and another United Academy graduate who has enjoyed an impressive spell away from the club, Dean Henderson. The goalkeeper starred as his loan club, Sheffield United, secured automatic promotion to the Premier League at the end of last month.

"Hopefully, now Axel can get to the play-off final and play well," says the boss. 

"Obviously, he’s had a couple of injuries, but he’s a boy I can’t wait to see in pre-season for us.”
Tuanzebe (second from left) and Henderson (fourth) joined in our Carabao Cup celebrations in 2017.
Tuanzebe has previously made eight senior appearances for the Reds, the last of which came in a 2-0 win over Everton in January 2018. He subsequently joined Villa on loan for the latter stages of last season and played a handful of games before the Midlands outfit reached the play-offs and suffered heartbreak, losing 1-0 to Fulham in the final.

In this campaign, the Congo-born defender has played a huge role for Villa, becoming a regular in Dean Smith’s side and formed a formidable centre-back partnership with Tyrone Mings. Despite suffering a foot injury which kept him out for several weeks, he has made 28 appearances in all competitions and is now hoping to round that up to 30 with Villa leading 2-1 from the first leg at West Brom.
Henderson, meanwhile, has also excelled in England’s second tier. The goalkeeper played every single minute for Sheffield United as they finished runners-up in the league and won the Championship Golden Glove award, with an impressive 21 clean sheets.

Blades manager Chris Wilder has admitted he's "keen" to keep the shot-stopper as his team head into the Premier League and Ole gave MUTV an update on the likelihood of that happening.
Henderson has been one of the Championship's outstanding goalkeepers in 2018/19.
"Next year, let’s see what we do with Dean,” said Solskjaer. 

“He’s obviously won promotion with Sheffield United and that’s been fantastic for him. If he plays a year in the Premier League for them, it might be the best thing.”

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