Alan Hutton has tipped Aston Villa to make a new move to sign Axel Tuanzebe from Manchester United in January.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Villa defender is convinced the centre-back, 21, could be on the radar of Dean Smith’s side after they were “very interested” in him during the summer.
Tuanzebe had an impressive spell on loan last season at Villa, where he made 29 starts among 30 appearances and formed an outstanding partnership with Tyrone Mings despite missing three months of the season with a broken foot.
Hutton explained why he is a big admirer of Tuanzebe after sharing a dressing room with him for 18 months.
“He’s very, very professional,” the ex-Scotland international told Football Insider. “That’s definitely how I’d say he was. Everything was football, whether it be how he ate, how he trained, constantly in the gym before and after – he was 100% professionalism.
“I’m surprised he’s not really had a chance as yet at Man U but I’m pretty sure that will come. Of course everybody wants to play and maybe that’s the situation he will look at and say: ‘right I need to continue playing.’
“I know Villa were very interested in him but Man U wanted to keep him, which is fair enough, he’s their player, it’s understandable but I think he’s definitely going to have a big future ahead of him.”
Asked if he could be a January signing for Villa, Hutton replied: “Yes. I think it would be a great signing personally.
“He’s only going to add quality, like I said he’s going to want to play games in the Premier League and get tested that way. I think that would be a good level for him.”
Tuanzebe is an England youth international, who has been capped at Under-21, Under-20 and Under-19 level.
He has been an unused substitute in each of Man United’s four Premier League matches this season.
At Villa, Mings has struck up a new central defensive partnership with Bjorn Engels, one of 12 summer signings made by the club.
In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that Dean Smith has given the green light for the club to sell one of his signings.