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Jose Mourinho will allow Axel Tuanzebe to leave Manchester United on loan this month

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he will allow Academy graduate Axel Tuanzebe to leave the club on loan this month. Tuanzebe, 20, is a promising member of United’s first team but he is not getting the matches to aid his development at the club. United have Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind as the experienced members of the central defence at the club and currently, Bailly is recovering from injury, meaning Tuanzebe is sixth choice in the squad, although he has played out of position but not regularly.

Championship side Aston Villa, managed by former United defender Steve Bruce, have shown an interest in Tuanzebe this month and he could be the third member of the reserves to be loaned out with James Wilson at Sheffield United and Demetri Mitchell heading to Scottish club Hearts. In the past few days, Devonte Redmond (Scunthorpe United) and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Leeds United) have both returned to the club from loan spells during the first half of the season.

Tuanzebe has made just three appearances for United this season, starting in the 2-0 victory over Swansea City in the Carabao Cup in October and coming on as a substitute twice in the 2-1 victory over CSKA Moscow and the 2-0 victory over Everton on New Year’s Day. Tuanzebe is a player who will need to play matches in order to develop. Mourinho will know this, as will the player himself. A loan spell could be great for the player, especially in the Championship. Mourinho spoke to the official Manchester United website about Tuanzebe, saying:

“I have a squad of 22 players and I want to keep the squad of 22 players. Maybe, just because I want to make the kid a good player and I’m not giving him the chances the chances I am giving to Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe [could go out on loan] because he plays in a position where I have so many players.

“Today [Monday] on the bench I had Marcos Rojo and Lindelof and Bailly is still in recovery so I’m not giving the chances to Axel. So Axel is probably the only one I can leave the open door for him to go and play [elsewhere] because I believe he is a really good talent, and he needs to go and play.

“But apart from that, we need the numbers we have because we are playing in the Champions League, FA Cup and Premier League. I have to keep the number of players we have.”

Aston Villa currently sit in fourth place in the Championship, four points clear of a play-off place after 27 matches. Bruce’s side will be looking to earn that play-off place or even earn an automatic promotion place this season which would see them promoted back to the Premier League next season. If Tuanzebe was part of a team who are looking to return to the top-level, not only can he assist them in doing that, but the development from such a thing would benefit him and United.

Now that Mourinho has in effect confirmed that Tuanzebe will be allowed to leave the Old Trafford club this month, albeit on loan, Villa may find themselves with some competition for the 20-year-old who is highly rated at the Theatre of Dreams. Villa have John Terry and James Chester as their first choice defensive partnership and have limited cover aside of them. Then there is the fact that Tuanzebe can play at right-back or even a midfield role, so the options from such a deal would be beneficial to the player and Villa, or whoever loaned him.

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