Leeds United’s central defensive conundrum will be the biggest bugbear for Marcelo Bielsa this summer, but he can make the situation a whole lot easier if he lands a new and emerging target.
What’s the word?
According to The Sun on Sunday’s print edition (26/07, page 63), the Yorkshire giants could turn their attention to Manchester United youngster Axel Tuanzebe.
It’s claimed that loan star Ben White’s chances of returning to Elland Road next season are pretty slim considering Brighton are remaining in the top-flight and have plans to use him – unless an offer that can’t be refused lands at their door.
He’s also sure to have interest from the PL’s elite, including Liverpool and both Manchester clubs.
As a result, Tuanzebe is being lined up as the 22-year-old’s replacement.
This move is certainly an interesting one to make, particularly given the need for a centre-back or two next season.
In addition to White’s return, Bielsa will be without Gaetano Berardi, who is not only out of contract but is also seriously injured with an ACL tear – meaning he’s not going to pay for anyone until at least April.
The 6 foot 1 Red Devils talent has rarely been utilised by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, featuring ten times in all competitions – in part, this has been down to injury woes but also the form of Victor Lindelof and skipper Harry Maguire, so a loan move may suit all parties.
It’s claimed by The Athletic that United see the former England U21 centre-back as the next Rio Ferdinand and that he can save the club millions of pounds in the transfer market.
The England legend, of course, made a name for himself in west Yorkshire before moving to Old Trafford, so maybe Tuanzebe can get some vital experience before going onto stardom in a similar nature.
If that’s not enough, his teammate Luke Shaw has labelled Tuanzebe as “unbelievable” before claiming that his talent is “frightening” and that he has “got everything”.
Based on these assessments, Victor Orta would be foolish not to consider the 22-year-old as a replacement for White.
AND in other news, Leeds eye audacious swoop for “special” 23-goal sensation