Signed in January on loan from Manchester United, it’s fair to say that Axel Tuanzebe has not quite lived up to expectations at Villa Park with only five league appearances since moving to Birmingham.
The full-back has completed 90 minutes only once since his loan signing and is yet to impress Steve Bruce sufficiently to earn a regular spot in the side, having made back to back starts only once.
Despite that, The Sun say that it is likely that regardless of whether the Villans are promoted or not in the summer, Tuanzebe will remain on loan at Aston Villa next season.
The reports suggest that he will join Manchester United for their pre-season tour of the US for Jose Mourinho to re-evaluate the defender, who he gave a Premier League debut to in May 2017, before opting to send him out on loan.
That a host of top flight and second tier clubs are still interested despite him not convincing for Villa says a lot about Tuanzebe’s potential. Steve Bruce is a good judge of player potential too, and if he is keen to retain his services then it is for a reason.
Strong in the tackle yet quick, Tuanzebe did not look out of place among the elite when he made his United debut against Arsenal and has not many any clear errors whilst on loan at Villa either.
By sticking with their man, Villa will reap the rewards in the long-term. At Championship level with a full pre-season and regular football behind him, Tuanzebe could easily stake his claim and begin to fulfill his potential.
If Villa are promoted, it’s hard to see how Tuanzebe will become first choice, but he will come cheap and is certainly an interesting option to have amongst the ranks.