This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to The Daily Mail, Newcastle are interested in signing Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe this summer.
Following a fine campaign on loan at Aston Villa last season, Tuanzebe was rewarded with a long-term contract at Old Trafford. The England U21 international has featured in United’s pre-season games over the summer, but reports linking the club with a move for Leicester’s Harry Maguire may push him further down the pecking order.
The indoor football skills in the video below have to be seen to be believed…
The Daily Mail claim that Steve Bruce – who brought Tuanzebe to Villa Park last season – is keen on being reunited with the defender this summer, but that any move for the 21-year-old is dependent on whether United can pull off a deal for Maguire in the remaining days of the transfer window.
Even with Maguire’s potential arrival this summer, United simply need to keep a hold of Tuanzebe. The centre-back proved he is quick, athletic and capable on the ball too as he helped Aston Villa earn promotion last term.
More importantly though, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s confirmation that Eric Bailly’s injury against Tottenham is set to keep him out for the next four to five months leaves United short of one quality central defender.
The likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have had enough chances to prove themselves but have yet to really stamp their mark on the United team on a consistent basis, so Bailly’s setback should be the chance for Tuanzebe to step in and make his mark.
With the Europa League a prime opportunity to rotate the squad and rest the senior players, the need for quality depth is crucial. How can the side possibly challenge for the top-four and beyond if the first-choice XI is always exhausted from Thursday night trips across Europe?
So regardless of whether United sign Maguire, Tuanzebe simply has to be kept.