Dean Smith’s sacking as Aston Villa manager could have a big impact on Manchester United loanee Axel Tuanzebe.
Smith became the fifth Premier League manager to lose his job inside the first 11 games of the season, after his Villa side lost five Premier League games in a row.
Following the big-money departure of their captain Jack Grealish, Villa have struggled to kick on in his absence, despite splashing the cash on a number of big money signings, in an attempt to fill the England international’s void.
Tuanzebe was signed by Smith on a season-long loan in the summer and made nine appearances for the Villains under the 50-year-old, during the campaign.
But with Smith relieved of his duties, the centre-back will have to wait and see what his short-term future holds at the club when a new manager is appointed.
Smith sacking could scupper Tuanzebe
The 23-year-old returned to Villa Park after helping the Villains clinch promotion back up to the top-flight, via the play-offs under Smith in 2019.
Villa are currently 16th in the Premier League table, two points above the relegation zone.
With a two-week international break, Aston Villa have time to get a new manager in ahead of welcoming Brighton to Villa Park.
Tuanzebe made 28 appearances under Smith across his two loan spells at the club, that’s one less than what he has made under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
But in those 29 matches he has featured in for Solskjaer, the England under-21 international has played a combined 1,589 minutes, which was an average of 55 minutes per game.
However, under Smith, Tuanzebe played 2,346 minutes from the 28 games, which was an average of 84 minutes per game.
Smith was a big fan of Tuanzebe and his exit now leaves the Manchester United academy graduate no doubt wondering what his future will hold.
Smith has flipped and flapped between playing with two or three centre backs this season.
If the new manager comes in and opts to play with a back four, Tuanzebe may struggle to break up the Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa partnership.
But if they retain a back three, Tuanzebe will fancy his chances of ousting Kortney Hause and gaining valuable game time in the Premier League.
Tuanzebe will have to impress the new manager and if he does find himself out-of-favour come the new year, United could well decide to cut his season-long loan short.
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