Axel Tuanzebe’s partnership with Tyrone Mings was the bedrock of Aston Villa’s impressive late season form that ultimately earned them a return to the Premier League.
The Manchester United loanee is raw but talented and shone alongside the more experienced Mings as the Villa got back to the big time.
Dean Smith’s issue is that neither man is a Villa player, and as much as he would love to have both of them back at the club next season, that may not be possible.
Tuanzebe clearly loved his time at Villa and took to Instagram to thank the club for a memorable season, posting a video.
The message itself – thanking the club – gives the indication of a player who won’t be coming back, and then there are reports from the Sun yesterday that Tuanzebe is set for a new contract at Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems keen to have a look at the young defender, which would be an outstanding opportunity.
Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham commented on the post, showing their love for the 21-year-old – who was also at Villa in the second part of 2017/18 under Steve Bruce.
Tuanzebe will be missed, although getting Mings back is arguably more important given how he developed into a defensive leader when the going got tough.