“Cushion the blow” – Stoke City seal loan agreement with Manchester United: The verdict | OneFootball

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Football League World

·1 February 2023

“Cushion the blow” – Stoke City seal loan agreement with Manchester United: The verdict

Article image:“Cushion the blow” – Stoke City seal loan agreement with Manchester United: The verdict

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Stoke City secured a loan move for Manchester United centre-back Axel Tuanzebe late on Deadline Day yesterday.

The Potters signed the 25-year-old centre-back after it was confirmed that Harry Souttar would go on and complete a move to Premier League club Leicester City.

Tuanzebe, who has experience of thriving in the Championship when on a temporary spell with Aston Villa previously, was loaned out last January to Napoli but was unable to see too much game time.

According to The Athletic, Premier League clubs Leeds United considered a move for Tuanzebe yesterday evening, however, nothing came of it.

Three of our writers have shared their thoughts on the addition of Tuanzebe at the Bet 365 Stadium and whether or not they can see him starting regularly.

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Billy Mulley

Young centre-backs have thrived at Stoke in recent years, and whilst Tuanzebe is pushing the upper band when it comes to being classed as a youthful defender, there is plenty of scope for him to progress in Staffordshire.

Of course, Souttar enjoyed a rapid progression with the Potters and Ben Wilmot has continued on an upward trajectory, whilst Leo Ostigard also enjoyed a productive stint at Stoke.

Tuanzebe is an excellent addition and given the ability he has shown and experience he has accumulated in the early stages of his career, he has all the tools that are necessary to start regular games.

Defensively dominant, a good reader of the game and comfortable when bringing the ball out from the back, this has the potential to be a very good move from a Stoke City perspective.

Alfie Burns

With Harry Souttar leaving Stoke, there’s obviously been a need to recruit a player of Tuanzebe’s skill set.

The 25-year-old has plenty of attributes to like and given he’s been on the books at Man United so long, it should only give you confidence that he’s got the ability to cushion the blow of losing Souttar.

It’s a good deal for Stoke to take him until the end of the season and he’s going to get game-time in Stoke’s back-three between now and the end of the season.

Obviously Stoke have struggled a bit this season and unless that changes it might be tough for Tuanzebe. Yet he will back his talent and Stoke will be confident a strong squad might come good eventually under a good head coach.

As making the most out of a bad situation goes, losing Souttar and getting Tuanzebe in is fairly good business.

Ned Holmes

After Harry Souttar’s late-window move to Leicester City, it was absolutely vital that Stoke City signed a replacement and Axel Tuanzebe is just that.

The 25-year-old isn’t quite the towering figure that Souttar is but he’s a strong, quick and clever central defender and should be a fantastic addition to Alex Neil’s squad.

Tuanzebe was a key player when Aston Villa won promotion from the Championship in 2018/19 and has rarely looked out place when called upon by Manchester United.

His contract at Old Trafford expires in the summer so this loan spell could lead to a permanent deal, which would be excellent business.

If nothing else, he’ll be hungry to prove his qualities and impress potential suitors.

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