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2021-22 Performances


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Adisa

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He needs to find a club where he can develop. Loans here and there are doing him no good.
 

Jezpeza

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He’s awful. Should have sold him by now. I imagine he will dwindle and leave on a free at some point to ‘resurrect his career’ then dwindle more. Everyone needs to get over he’s an academy graduate and accept the fact that even though we would all love him to be amazing hes poor. Fitness issues on top.
 

11101

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Look at that again. You need a run of games. In one position. Settled. Not playing 4 different positions and normally only coming on to replace an injured player or when we're parking the bus in the dying minutes.
That's never going to happen in the first team of a big club. Players go on loan for a run of games as he did at Villa, when they come back they need to perform immediately in the opportunities they get. That will be the odd cup game or sub appearance.

In the first team we have to play our best players every game. That's Maguire and Lindelof. Occasionally we play Bailly because when he's fit and on it, he is as good as them. There is not room to give some kid 5 or 10 consecutive games to see if he's good enough.
 

VanDeBank

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I was expecting to come in here with a bunch of a praise and the worst comments being like: "it's only preseason, doesn't tell you much".

Am I the only one that saw him play really well? Especially keeping in mind the lad next to him had a stinker.

Anyway, happy to see him go out on loan. Guy has all the attributes to make it. Hopefully he'll come back as our 3rd CB, ahead of Lindelof and Bailly.
 

A-man

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Look at that again. You need a run of games. In one position. Settled. Not playing 4 different positions and normally only coming on to replace an injured player or when we're parking the bus in the dying minutes.



Like I said earlier, at the start of the 2019-2020 season he looked like he had moved in front of Bailly and Jones, was being hyped up by Ole and expectations were high. Then injured pretty much the whole season. Once he got fit again, you'd have expected him to get a proper chance, but that's quite tricky if Ole has completely settled on Lindelof and Maguire. Of course, for a player his age, lacking that experience he absolutely has to play to develop.

That performance in Istanbul is not on any one player. That would be extremely harsh. The whole team played like an amateur side (which is not being harsh). I think it's fair to say that Ole has been quite conservative and frequently under (at least externally) pressure, so he's played safe pretty much always. That's afforded a lot less game time to Tuanzebe, with really only Greenwood getting minutes as a youngster, whereas Williams got in through having no left back to field when Shaw was injured and Rojo presumably injured as well. I don't say this to bash Ole, just to say that Tuanzebe has not been given enough of a chance for him to be adequately judged on here. That seems completely obvious to me.

edit: I'd also add that for a young centre back to get game time, he needs to be playing alongside an experienced centre back who guides him. That most definitely is not Lindelof, and it is even less Bailly. Of his 6 starts as a centre back he played in a back 3 without Maguire in Paris, next to Maguire against Basaksehir away, next to Lindelof at home to Granada, next to Maguire against Sheffield, next to Bailly against Leicester and against Watford. He had two starts in a back 4 with Maguire last season (Sheffield and Basaksehir) but that sample size is tiny and take a better look at the lineup against Basaksehir:

--------------Henderson
Shaw-Tuanzebe-Maguire-AWB
-----------Matic--------VDB
Mata---------Bruno-------Rashford
----------------Martial

Pretty shoddy midfield and if you look at the two goals conceded the first was from our corner, having a left back take the corner and AWB way up there too, with rapidly-ageing Matic as the last line of defense. The second goal is pretty much a collective defensive collapse.

Against Sheffield United:

---------------Henderson
AWB--Tuanzebe--Maguire--Telles
------------Matic------Pogba
Greenwood--Bruno----Rashford
-----------------Martial

The first goal conceded (from a corner) can be attributed to Tuanzebe not winning a header, but if you analyse it, Telles steps in front of him at the last minute as if challenging for the ball, Tuanzebe backtracks to get a head on the ball as Bryan who was marking Henderson beats him to it. Looks like that's zonal marking there. The second goal which was a collective defensive collapse has one free player in our box with AWB, Telles, Bruno and Tuanzebe all culpable.

For him to be given a chance, in my view, would be to get 5-6 games on the trot next to Maguire. At least. People kept talking about Henderson needing chances to prove himself. Well, he got plenty. Had some not so good games, and some good games. And that's an even more precarious position.
It looked like Ole’s plan, 2 years ago, was to let Axel play the easier cup matches at the start of the season to get some flow, then if he was good enough, get occasional PL games to compete with Victor for the starting CB position. However injuries got in the way and we never got to see if he was good enough.

Imo he showed against Istanbul that he is not mature enough to take on the responsibility he was given. When you play alongside Maguire you have a partner who will take care of everything in the air in front of you, but you must basically take care of everything behind the back line. That is a very difficult job as it involves difficult decisions. Should Axel push to win back the ball early? Should he back down to cover space? Bailly has played 5 seasons with us and can still not make those decisions. Axel failed that miserably against Istanbul and from what I’ve seen in other matches, he is not there (yet?).

I think this is why he has had his best matches with Lindelof, and mostly poor matches with Maguire (small sample size so it is more a qualitative analysis). He doesn’t need to take those decisions. Lindelof will almost always cover space.


That's never going to happen in the first team of a big club. Players go on loan for a run of games as he did at Villa, when they come back they need to perform immediately in the opportunities they get. That will be the odd cup game or sub appearance.

In the first team we have to play our best players every game. That's Maguire and Lindelof. Occasionally we play Bailly because when he's fit and on it, he is as good as them. There is not room to give some kid 5 or 10 consecutive games to see if he's good enough.
Spot on. For any other position than CB or goalkeeper we can throw in a player here and there, but for a CB it is not possible.
 

Jezpeza

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I was expecting to come in here with a bunch of a praise and the worst comments being like: "it's only preseason, doesn't tell you much".

Am I the only one that saw him play really well? Especially keeping in mind the lad next to him had a stinker.

Anyway, happy to see him go out on loan. Guy has all the attributes to make it. Hopefully he'll come back as our 3rd CB, ahead of Lindelof and Bailly.
I think he has remained an enigma because hes never been fit enough/good enough to get a run of games for everyone to see his level isn't good enough.

theres times he has been fit and unable to displace lindelof which means he isnt any good because otherwise we would partner him with HM not sign Varane etc.

he’s 24 in November. He isnt a youth prospect to develop he should already be playing at a good level. Look at the likes of Dias, Upamecano, Konate, Pau Torres who are similar age. He’s nowhere near their level and never will be. Just get shot of him while we can get a few bob for him.
 

VanDeBank

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I think he has remained an enigma because hes never been fit enough/good enough to get a run of games for everyone to see his level isn't good enough.

theres times he has been fit and unable to displace lindelof which means he isnt any good because otherwise we would partner him with HM not sign Varane etc.

he’s 24 in November. He isnt a youth prospect to develop he should already be playing at a good level. Look at the likes of Dias, Upamecano, Konate, Pau Torres who are similar age. He’s nowhere near their level and never will be. Just get shot of him while we can get a few bob for him.
The "we wouldn't sign Varane" argument is nonsense. Does us signing Sancho mean Rashford and Greenwood aren't good enough?

The players you mentioned aren't from the academy of one of the biggest clubs in the world. They were all starters at lesser teams. I think a better comparison would be someone like Ake.

I think Ole rates him quite a bit, or else he wouldn't have tried throwing him in that Sheffield game when others were fit. Taking into account all his performances, I really don't see a gap between him and Lindelof/Bailly. Just that the pair is "proven" and he's not. Axel has all the attributes for a top defender, with the exception of experience.

Sheffield aside, he did well whenever he did a get chance. Looked a bit shaky next to Bailly against Wolves. Not surprising, they don't complement each other and well, it's Bailly. He had a better performance than Lindelof against Fullham.

I think he'll surprise us a quite a bit, (on loan and after) despite his age. So let's just wait and see. There's not much to discuss when the lad barely plays, except his really good preseason performances, which everyone in this thread is failing to notice, except @Gopher Brown
 

El Zoido

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I still think he’s a good player, but he needs to play every single week. He’ll be of little use as a backup centre half for us. Defenders more than any other position, need to play to build experience.
 

Jezpeza

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The "we wouldn't sign Varane" argument is nonsense. Does us signing Sancho mean Rashford and Greenwood aren't good enough?

The players you mentioned aren't from the academy of one of the biggest clubs in the world. They were all starters at lesser teams. I think a better comparison would be someone like Ake.

I think Ole rates him quite a bit, or else he wouldn't have tried throwing him in that Sheffield game when others were fit. Taking into account all his performances, I really don't see a gap between him and Lindelof/Bailly. Just that the pair is "proven" and he's not. Axel has all the attributes for a top defender, with the exception of experience.

Sheffield aside, he did well whenever he did a get chance. Looked a bit shaky next to Bailly against Wolves. Not surprising, they don't complement each other and well, it's Bailly. He had a better performance than Lindelof against Fullham.

I think he'll surprise us a quite a bit, (on loan and after) despite his age. So let's just wait and see. There's not much to discuss when the lad barely plays, except his really good preseason performances, which everyone in this thread is failing to notice, except @Gopher Brown
its obvious hes a player you really like but i think youve got the blinkers on because hes an academy graduate. He wont have a career here, hes not good enough.
 

izec

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I still think he’s a good player, but he needs to play every single week. He’ll be of little use as a backup centre half for us. Defenders more than any other position, need to play to build experience.
I agree. Shouldnt be that difficult to find a PL club for him, either loan or sell with buy back clause
 

lex talionis

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Not a whole lot should be read in to pre-season matches. Despite everything coaches instruct, the mentality is just different than "real" matches. We saw this under Ferguson for decades, where we rarelly played even in third gear, let alone top gear. Tuanzebe was not at all sharp yesterday but we have every reason to believe he'll be a solid prem defender for years to come. The question is whether he has it in his to become a great prem defender. We shall find out.
 

Ace of Spades

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We should have loaned him when Villa got promoted, they were interested in taking him back. Such a good opportunity. We basically have wasted 2 years of his development, as he never really got a proper chance.

Young players make mistakes and are inconsistent, it was stupid to keep him if we were not going to play him.
 

Ekeke

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I was expecting to come in here with a bunch of a praise and the worst comments being like: "it's only preseason, doesn't tell you much".

Am I the only one that saw him play really well? Especially keeping in mind the lad next to him had a stinker.

Anyway, happy to see him go out on loan. Guy has all the attributes to make it. Hopefully he'll come back as our 3rd CB, ahead of Lindelof and Bailly.
I thought he did okay, obviously a lot better than Mengi especially with the ball and didnt see him have any particularly concerning moments defensively. Wouldnt say he did really well, but other than Maguire I dont expect any of our other CBs would play much better than he did.
 

golden_blunder

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He’s not going to get a run of games on the trot. If he couldn’t get them when Maguire was partnered by Lindelof he’s not going to get them if we buy Varane.
 

Rozay

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He’s not going to get a run of games on the trot. If he couldn’t get them when Maguire was partnered by Lindelof he’s not going to get them if we buy Varane.
He couldn’t even get them when Lindelöf was out of favour, he still needs to get ahead of Bailly before trying to usurp Lindelöf. He’s currently 4th choice, and by the end of this week, could well be 5th choice.
 

golden_blunder

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He couldn’t even get them when Lindelöf was out of favour, he still needs to get ahead of Bailly before trying to usurp Lindelöf. He’s currently 4th choice, and by the end of this week, could well be 5th choice.
Good point. I don’t see Bailly or him wanting to stick around too long playing 2nd fiddle. Wouldn’t be surprised to see one or both sold/traded IF we bring in Varane AND Kounde
 

CM10

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Should be a good move for Tuanzebe. He needs regular minutes and there shouldn't be too much competition for him to contend with at Newcastle. You'd imagine Bruce would do a good job of looking after him too.

Not sure what Tuanzebe's contract situation is like atm but a successful loan spell plus potential sale next year would be good for all parties.
 

Trequarista10

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Should be a good move for Tuanzebe. He needs regular minutes and there shouldn't be too much competition for him to contend with at Newcastle. You'd imagine Bruce would do a good job of looking after him too.

Not sure what Tuanzebe's contract situation is like atm but a successful loan spell plus potential sale next year would be good for all parties.
Yeah, Bruce tends to play 3 CBs too which may suit Axel (plus more chance of starting role)
 

Rozay

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Hopefully the loan can get us a Michael Keane-like £25m+ fee next summer.
 

charlenefan

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Hope this loan happens, could do wonders for him
 

KikiDaKats

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Had high hopes for this lad but he is well behind in terms of development. He should not go on a Premiership loan. My poor judgment says he needs a championship loan to just play football and loosen his body up a bit + develop a bit of leadership. CB is not only about defending ability, leadership is as important too.
Watching him play last season, half the time it looks like he is waiting for instructions from his fellow players. This is quite noticeable during this preseason.

Does Rooney not need him?
 

dalriada

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A loan is the right move for him this season. He's a talented and intelligent lad with good leadership qualities but if Ole favours Bailly as his second backup CB, then he's just going to be treading water. Looking at him in the pre-season games, he needs regular playing time with a reasonably regular partnership.
 

11101

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A loan is the right move for him this season. He's a talented and intelligent lad with good leadership qualities but if Ole favours Bailly as his second backup CB, then he's just going to be treading water. Looking at him in the pre-season games, he needs regular playing time with a reasonably regular partnership.
A loan with a view to sell. He's miles away from the level required and I don't know what his mentality is like. Actual ability is one thing, but the way he jogged over to cover after Dalot got done last night doesn't strike me as a player desperate to show he means business. He's done that a couple of times this pre season.
 

Santos J

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Extra year sounds like it's more of a retaining some value type of extension, article ends with the possibility of this loan leading to a permanent move there.
 

acnumber9

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I’m not sure how he’s going to get much game time at Villa. Looks like they just want him as backup.
 

UnitedFan93

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If he was a Liverpool player they would sell him for £15-20 million. Hopefully Villa will consider buying now that they are getting bucket loads of money for Grealish. A loan is a waste of time, we should just sell.
 

AgentSmith

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Will he actually get regular games? They’ve got a very well-established and effective defence which seems like it wouldn’t need to rotate regularly.

I can appreciate it’s a familiar environment for Tuanzebe but it’s consistent minutes he’s in desperate need of at this point, not being another depth option. Newcastle would make more sense imo.
 

bosnian_red

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Hopefully he plays regularly. But he should move permanently. Need to stop with loans for him as he's too old to have so few games, and he's not going to make it at United unless he leaves, develops a lot and them we buy him back in 5 years after Varane/Maguire. Literally not happening otherwise.
 

Marwood

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The curse of badly chosen loan deals strikes again.

Just send him somewhere he's almost guaranteed to start. How hard can it be?
 

charlenefan

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Pointless loan, won't get games ahead of Mings, Konsa or Cash. Would've been better off going to Newcastle.
Will he actually get regular games? They’ve got a very well-established and effective defence which seems like it wouldn’t need to rotate regularly.

I can appreciate it’s a familiar environment for Tuanzebe but it’s consistent minutes he’s in desperate need of at this point, not being another depth option. Newcastle would make more sense imo.
Newcastle wouldn't pay the loan fee apparently because I agree much bigger chance of him getting starts there
 

pascell

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Newcastle wouldn't pay the loan fee apparently because I agree much bigger chance of him getting starts there
Thats where we need to think of the players development more, clubs aren't always going to pay the loan fee and give regular game time to youngsters. There has to be give and take from the club, it could very well be another year of Axels development handled very poorly by the club.
 

Rocksy

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I don’t see him getting many games at Villa either. They’ve got a strong, settled defence and Axel struggles to be available as reliable back up. Never mind that he’s already played there, almost anywhere else would have been a better choice right now. No point focussing on loan fees if the value of the player goes down during the loan. United’s sales and loaning of players kind of baffles me…
 

ThemanGiggsy

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Wonder if LCFC would take him on loan considering the injury to Fofana
 

Devil may care

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I'd have preferred to keep him over Bailly but good luck Axel, hopefully he starts plenty of games for Villa and returns next season to replace Bailly.