Aston Villa could seal a dream deal in the summer transfer window by landing Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe, despite Lee Hendrie’s verdict on a potential move.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested that the centre-back could be set for a reunion with Dean Smith and Villa after initially playing for the club during their time in the Championship.
However, Hendrie has poured cold water over a deal, raising question marks over whether Tuanzebe would be able to come in and command a first-team place, and queried whether the young defender would want to “fight” for his place.
He said: “It’s whether Axel wants to come in and actually fight for a place. The two at the moment (Mings and Konsa), basically they’re picked week in, week out if you look at it. I just think he isn’t going to overtake Mings and Konsa at this current time.”
With his previous history of working under Smith, and the fact he’s both young and English, Tuanzebe has got all the makings of being a real dream deal for Villa this summer.
The £7.2m-rated centre-back has earned rave reviews for his performances, and earned special praise from United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after helping to stop PSG and Kylian Mbappe in the Champions League earlier this season.
He said: “Axel’s a tremendous defender, a great leader. He’s come through the academy and we’ve known for years that he’s going to be a top player for us and he’s got the character and the attitude that a Man United player should have. Sometimes you’ll get in a foot race with Mbappe and you have to run with him and we know Axel’s qualities, he’s a top defender.”
While Hendrie is right to wonder whether Tuanzebe would come in and displace either Mings or Konsa, he would add the kind of necessary competition that keeps the two on their toes and ensures they don’t just rest on their laurels, plus he’d be a great option to have in case of injury.
Tuanzebe has already proven he can be a starter under Smith before, and he would be able to hit the ground running at Villa Park thanks to his previous experience. It’s a move Johan Lange should be all over this summer.