Axel Tuanzebe’s versatility is one of his best attributes, claims Aston Villa assistant manager Colin Calderwood

by Harry Robinson

Axel Tuanzebe will be gaining first team experience in a number of positions at Aston Villa, the Championship club’s number 2 Colin Calderwood has revealed.

The DR Congo-born Manchester United defender joined the Villains on loan near the end of the January transfer window having been a target for Steve Bruce’s side for some weeks.

An exciting defensive prospect at Old Trafford, he’s been handed very few first team opportunities this campaign, having made his first team bow last season.

With former-Red Bruce away due to family reasons, Calderwood was asked about Tuanzebe’s position at Villa after the England U21 international made his debut for the club against Burton Albion.

“In a short period on the pitch he’s obviously got a lot of learning to do with relationships within a back four and people in front of him,” Calderwood said. “We’ve got about six, seven days before the next game at home and the experience of training together will help him.”

“I think he’s versatile,” Calderwood continued, when queried whether Tuanzebe would continue at right-back after coming in that position after 67 minutes against Burton. “We’ve seen him play all across the back four and in centre midfield. I think that versatility is a terrific asset for us and for him at the minute.”

It’s one of Tuanzebe’s strong points, with the 20-year-old partly being handed first team chances by Jose Mourinho back at United because of that versatility.

Hopefully it won’t be a negative, though, and stop Tuanzebe from tying down a position while on loan and while at United in future. Brough up in Rochdale, Tuanzebe has admitted his dream is to be at United for the next 10-15 years once he returns from this loan at Villa.

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