Axel Tuanzebe has sealed a loan return to Aston Villa after extending his contract with Manchester United.
Tuanzebe spent 18 months on loan with Villa between January 2018 and the summer of 2019, helping them win promotion back to the Premier League. But while the club have established themselves in the top-flight again since, the player has not been able to continue his progression.
The defender has played in just 14 Premier League games since his return to Old Trafford. Although he has found more space in cup competitions.
Even so, with Raphael Varane set to arrive to crowd the defence even more, it made sense for Tuanzebe to seek other opportunities.
A return to Villa has been suggested for a while and the club have now got the deal over the line. Rather than a permanent transfer, it is another loan deal. Tuanzebe has also extended his contract at his parent club until 2023, with the option for a further year.
The next of those years will be spent at Villa Park, though, as he aims to build up more regular gametime.
Villa already have Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa at centre-back, but wanted another option to provide competition. Getting someone in who already knows the surroundings could be a smart move for all parties.
Villa busy in transfer market
It continues a busy summer in the transfer market for Villa. They may have had to say goodbye to club captain Jack Grealish after Manchester City activated his release clause, but they have already been investing wisely.
They broke their own transfer record to sign Emiliano Buendia from Norwich near the start of the summer. Then, they got ex-Inter Milan wide man Ashley Young back on a free transfer.
More recently, they added Jamaica winger Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen and England striker Danny Ings from Southampton.
Villa finished mid-table last season after tailing off following a promising start. They are aiming for a strong season this year and the addition of Tuanzebe should help all concerned.