Date: 28th March 2019 at 7:00am
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It’s been claimed this week that Manchester United are prepared to greenlight another season-long loan at Aston Villa for versatile defender Axel Tuanzebe.

The 21-year-old youngster headed into Villa Park during the 2018 January transfer window on a loan spell, but with injuries hitting, he was restricted to only four starting appearances and one substitute showing. Having seen some promise from him though, we brought him back on another deal last summer and, to date, he has 21 appearances for the club in the season of 2018/19.

Following the arrival of head coach Dean Smith and the switch to the heart of defence, we have undoubtedly seen the best of his ability and losing him to injury back in mid-December was a blow. He’s back in training though and building his fitness, and he could potentially come back into Smith’s thoughts for this weekend’s Championship clash with Blackburn Rovers.

A report from the Sun this week quoted an unnamed United source as saying they are open to another loan deal in 2019/20, but it’s not something we should be interested in.

“Axel has done well there and he could be allowed to go back for another year. It doesn’t matter to us if that’s in the Championship or not. The quality of the league is so high. He’s fit again and rated really highly here. It will be a struggle for him to get into the first-team at present though. We’re pleased with his progress and he has impressed a lot with his attitude and potential for the future.”

His potential is now clear for all to see and we’ve seen why he’s been so highly rated at United in recent years, but next summer we have plenty of work to do with contracts ending, and rebuilding the first team for the years and philosophy ahead, and that has to mean an end to loan deals for short term benefit.

We saw that switch in January with loan to buy deals, and the only way we should entertain Tuanzebe again is if we have a buy clause included.

Otherwise, we find a permanent option or look to our own youth.

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