Axel Tuanzebe a leader United may already have?

Image from the Express

Manchester United youngster Axel Tuanzebe has enjoyed another excellent season on-loan at Midlands side Aston Villa and has helped guide them into the Championship play-offs. 
The 21-year-old defender has been a mainstay for Villa this season and helped them finish fifth in the Championship and as a result, his side takes a 2-1 lead into Tuesdays 2nd leg play-off against local rivals, West Bromwich Albion.

Tuanzebe, who has played 25 times for the Villains this season was sidelined for a short spell due to injury in December, however, he managed to come through it and regained his place and helped push his side into the playoff picture. Featuring mainly as a right-sided centre-back, Tuanzebe is very strong in his tackling and uses his 6’1″ frame to his advantage in the air. In the Championship this season, he has been successful in 52.07% of his aerial duels and showed great leadership despite his young age.

The English international has also got a very impressive tackle success rate of 66.67%, which ranks him second overall in the Championship for central defenders who have played more than 1500 league minutes this season. 

Not just strong in his defensive aspects of the game, Tuanzebe has also proven himself tidy with the ball at his feet. He has a pass success rate this season of 87.69%. That ranks him 2nd overall in the Championship. This is an important factor because United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants his side to play possession-based football, dominating the ball and playing out from the back. At the moment, the current United Centre backs: Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly are not trusted to do this or not good enough to implement it.

Tuanzebe’s defensive output this season still makes him a real prospect for the future. If given a run in the United side, playing the way Solskjaer wants him to play, he could continue to mature and adapt his game to suit.

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While Solskjaer is hoping Tuanzebe can end an excellent season by reaching the play-off final and achieve promotion and then is looking forward to seeing and working with the 21-year-old in the summer tour and seeing if he has something to offer the Norwegian in his defensive reshuffle.

Author: TUD Author