By Noel Whelan

6th Jul, 2021 | 8:00am

Whelan: Aston Villa backed to complete 'amazing' Tuanzebe signing after key update

Noel Whelan has backed Aston Villa to sign Axel Tuanzebe from Manchester United this summer.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United striker heaped praise on the 23-year-old who he claimed “could be a great signing” for the Midlands club.

Dean Smith is keen to add a centre-back with Premier League experience to his squad to provide cover and competition for first-choice pairing Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa.

As revealed by Football Insider (July 5th), Villa have been given encouragement that United are willing to let Tuanzebe leave in the current window.

The Midlands giants have “concrete” interest in the versatile defender, who spent the 2018-19 campaign on loan at Villa Park.

He has one year remaining on his contract at Old Trafford.

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When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs for his assessment of the latest, Whelan said:

“He has impressed me when he has been given an opportunity by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“Villa could do with another centre-half even though they were fantastic defensively last year. They have signed a great flair player in Buendia and it sounds like they could add a few more in that department but it is important they strengthen their back line as well.

“You need to be a ball player as a defender now but you still need to strike fear into your opponents. They have not had that in recent years.

“Tuanzebe would add competition for places. It could turn out to be an amazing signing.”

In other news, pundit predicts Aston Villa duo to exit after major reported update on third Smith Rowe bid.