Darren Bent has tipped Axel Tuanzebe to return to Aston Villa this summer if he finds himself out of the first-team plans at Manchester United.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa forward revealed how impressed he was with the defender during his loan spell in the midlands as he played an important role on the way to play-off glory and promotion back to the Premier League.
Villa have been linked with making a move to sign the 21-year-old again this summer, with Premier League rivals Newcastle United also credited with an interest in his capture.
However, with two loan spells at Villa Park under his belt, Bent believes Tuanzebe would be best off picking up Premier League action with the teammates he played alongside last season.
Bent told Football Insider: “It’s quite a strange one. He was very, very good last year and I thought he might have a chance at Manchester United. Now this Maguire thing looks done, another year away might do him some good.
“He knows the club, the fans like him, he did really, really well last season. I’d rather see him stay at Aston Villa and play another season, hopefully, than go back to Manchester United, get washed up, doesn’t play until January, heads on loan and has missed half the season.
“Before this season he needs to hit the ground running. If he can have a meeting with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and find out his future lies, is he part of the plans? If not, get to Aston Villa as quickly as possibly because it’s the best place for him.”
Tuanzebe has more appearances for Aston Villa under his belt than he does Manchester United, having featured just eight times for the Red Devils’ senior side.
He played 30 times for the Villans across all competitions last season, injury leaving him sidelined between December and March.
In other Aston Villa news, Bent has suggested that the club will launch a late move for a wantaway international star at Tottenham.