Hutton excited as Aston Villa plot ex-teammate signing who's upgrade on Elmohamady

Re-signing Axel Tuanzebe from Manchester United would help Aston Villa hit new heights next season, according to Alan Hutton.

The former Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 23-year-old could replace Ahmed Elmohamady in the squad.

As revealed by Football Insider earlier this month, Villa have made Tuanzebe one of their top targets ahead of the upcoming transfer window.

Hutton, who played 23 times alongside Tuanzebe at Villa Park, insisted the Manchester United man would flourish into a top defender if given the game time.

He also suggested Tuanzebe’s versatility could see him as an upgrade on current second-choice right-back Elmohamady.

The Egypt international has made seven Premier League starts among 15 appearances this season.

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Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge. I’ve seen it, even in the Championship. How good a player he was then and how good it could become.

“There’s obviously room for improvement. It’s not quite worked the way that he would have thought at Manchester United. I know he had an injury and stuff which kept him out but he’s not had the game time.

“I think at his age you need to be playing football. Aston Villa, where they’re at at the moment is very good for a player. If you think, for him, to move to a club who are challenging for the top half of the table, for European places.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for him to go and show his worth, and I can see it happening. It’s competition. I think if you want to challenge at the top half of the league, you need to keep moving forward. Bringing in strong players that are going to compete with what you already have.

“Another tick in the box is he can play right-back as well. We’re not sure what they’re going to do with Elmo (Elmohamady), I think he’ll move on.

“You’ve only got Matty Cash there so there’s a versatile player to come in and kind of push a couple of positions, which is always a good thing.”

Tuanzebe spent a year-and-a-half on loan with Villa between 2018 and 2019, with 35 appearances under his belt.

He has played 16 times for Manchester United this season but has only started two Premier League games.

In other news, Aston Villa are preparing a “very cheeky” bid for a Jack Grealish replacement, £20million-plus will seal deal.