Solskjaer wants youngster to fight for first-team place amid talk of Premier League switch

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly wants Axel Tuanzebe to fight for his place this season.

The Reds now have seven central defenders at the club after the arrival of Harry Maguire, but the Sun reports that Solskjaer sees Tuanzebe as part of his first-team plans.

Tuanzebe has had an impressive pre-season under the Norwegian, and should now be considered the club’s third choice centre-back behind Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

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The 21-year-old had been linked with a move back to Aston Villa in a season long loan deal, with whom he shone last season as Dean Smith’s side were promoted to the Premier League.

Despite regular Premier League football being an interesting proposition for Tuanzebe, it is encouraging to hear reports that Solskjaer wants to see the academy graduate fight for his place.

There should be plenty of opportunities for the youngster to impress this season, given the Reds are in the Europa League and Solskjaer will be looking to rotate his side.

United should no longer rely on the likes of Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo in defence and Tuanzebe is a talented defender with a bright future at Old Trafford.

It will be interesting to see if any of the excess of central defenders can be sold before Thursday’s transfer window deadline.

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