We are getting closer to an end with the player season reviews and now we take a look at Axel Tuanzebe. The 20-year old defender spent the first part of the season at Manchester United but did not have a good time and then in January he made a move on loan to Aston Villa. However, that did not go as well as it was planned, as Tuanzebe never managed to get into the team and play an important part.
What do the numbers say?
Looking at Tuanzebe’s season, it is very hard to look at it through the prism of numbers. The basic reason for that is that the Englishman really did not play much, thus the deeper look at the numbers is not going to give a very good representation of everything he had done this season. At Manchester United, Tuanzebe only played 19 minutes in two substitute appearances in Premier League and Champions League. In the League Cup, he did manage to earn one start, but that was it from his first half of the season.
He played full 90 minutes in the win over Swansea in League Cup, but only got one minute of play against Everton on the New Year’s Day. In Champions League, he made a substitute appearance at Old Trafford against CSKA Moscow. Funnily enough, all those matches were won by United, so even if he did not play much, he was the ‘lucky charm’ of sorts. Jokes aside, Tuanzebe went on loan to Aston Villa but did not enjoy his time in Birmingham.
He made only five appearances in the Championship between late January and late May. Tuanzebe made four starts and finished the game only once, against Fulham in a 2-0 loss at Craven Cottage. He gathered a mere 300 minutes of play and obviously did not impress Steve Bruce. His final match came against Cardiff, in a 1-0 win at Villa Park.
Was he an important player for the club?
No, far from it. Axel Tuanzebe was not important player for Manchester United, nor he was for Aston Villa. This has been a rough season for him, managing just over 400 minutes of football across the season, at two different sides. Things do not look rosy for Tuanzebe right now and he will have to think about his future wisely. The choice to go to Aston Villa at a point when the team was fighting for promotion to the Premier League maybe was not the best. With Bruce trying to get Villa back to the top tier, he was not eager to chop and change the team that was doing really well by that point in season.
Projection for the 2018-19 season
There are a lot of question marks hovering above Axel Tuanzebe. Right now, it looks like a far-fetched scenario in which he would stay in the first team and have a realistic chance of breaking into the team. Also, if he is to make a step down to Championship, which side would be a reasonable choice? One fighting for promotion or the one that is expected to have a calm season in mid-table? This will be a big summer for Tuanzebe.