Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says Axel Tuanzebe is a “good player” and a “big prospect”. The 20-year-old re-joined Villa on loan in August and has gone on to make 10 Championship appearances this season, making one assist. The England u21 international, who can operate at centre-back and right-back, has been a regular in the backline and was singled out for praise by his new boss.
Speaking on Aston Villa’s official website, Smith said: “He has got great pace, he is a big prospect. I have known of him anyway playing through the junior ranks at England and watching his progression through that, and he looks a good player.” Tuanzebe made five Championship appearances for Villa last season and made enough of an impression to be signed up for another campaign.
The versatile defender has only made eight appearances for parent club Manchester United and may struggle in his quest for first-team football given the stiff competition for places under Jose Mourinho – Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Victor Lindelof & Eric Bailly at centre-back, and Antonio Valencia & Diogo Dalot at right-back.
He’s thriving at Villa and developing the more he plays, so all parties will be happy with the current arrangement. Smith is clearly pleased with what he’s seen from Tuanzebe so far and hopes he can realise his potential.
Stats from Transfermarkt.