Manchester United defender’s agent Axel Tuanzebe says Steven Gerrard’s arrival at Aston Villa forced his client to interrupt his loan at the Birmingham club.
Tuanzebe was called up by United in early January and has already secured another short-term move. The defender made five Premier League starts for Aston Villa before November, but lost his place when Esri Konza and Tyrone Mings established a strong partnership.
The 24-year-old will line up on loan at Napoli for the remainder of the season and hopes to find more playing time than under the former Liverpool legend.
What was said about Steven Gerrard?
Manchester United and Liverpool is one of the biggest rivalries in the Premier League and therefore in the world. Gerrard, a former Liverpool player where he played 504 games and became a club legend, played in that rivalry many times.
According to Tuanzebe’s agent, who is also his brother, Gerrard gave in to that loyalty, causing Tuanzebe to lose favor with the new Aston Villa boss.
“Axel is very excited to start a new chapter in his football career, playing abroad and for a club with so much history and fans who love football,” Dimitri Tuanzebe told ESPN. “Axel did not decide to move out until it was very clear that he is not the coach’s first choice central defender and the offer from Napoli was very tempting.”
“I have many mixed emotions when it comes to Axel’s time at Villa. The fans love him very much because he contributed a lot to the success of the club in the Championship, where he was one of the key players who helped Villa return to the Premier.” League. However, upon the arrival of Steven Gerrard at Villa Park, it felt as if the rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool came to life. “
“For the avoidance of doubt, Axel was very open to staying at Villa, he loves the fans, being in Birmingham, but he also has a career that he can only build and reach his full potential in an environment where opportunities to play are fair. . . “
Axel Tuanzebe will spend the rest of the season at Napoli, but brother and agent Dimitri says the move came only after concerns that Steven Gerrard was letting Liverpool’s rivalry with Man United get in the way of casting him in Aston Villa. https://t.co/ZDMb4nCLKW @ESPNFC
– Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) January 10, 2022
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Tuanzebe graduated from United’s youth academy and first joined the Red Devils at the age of eight. He made his first-team debut in January 2017, but failed to claim a regular spot in United’s lineup, racking up just 37 appearances for the club in the five years since his debut.
The former England Under-21 youth international had experienced better fortunes in a previous loan stint at Villa in 2018-19, which ended in promotion back to the Premier League for the Villans. His most recent move fell short of that success, however, and while he started the season as a first-team regular, Tuanzebe was limited to just eight minutes of action following Gerrard’s appointment in November.
Tuanzebe made his Napoli debut on Sunday, coming off the bench for the final 10 minutes of Napoli’s 1-0 win over Sampdoria.