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Town Confirm Tuanzebe Signing
Friday, 8th Sep 2023 17:16

Town have confirmed the signing of former Manchester United central defender Axel Tuanzebe on a one-year deal with an option for a further season.

Yesterday, TWTD reported that the 25-year-old was continuing talks with the Blues having trained at Playford Road this week, despite claims he was in talks with Real Betis.

“It feels great to finally get the deal over the line,” Tuanzebe, who will wear the number 40 shirt, told TownTV. 

“I had conversations with the manager earlier in the summer, having worked with him previously, and it’s great to have a familiar face.

“Knowing the calibre of coach he is, it was a good decision to come here because I know the standards he has and how thorough he is. 

“The stadium, pitch and training ground are top notch and the group is humble, willing to work and everyone wants to take the club into a better position. I am delighted to be here and can’t wait to get started.”

Town boss Kieran McKenna added: “We’re really pleased to have Axel at the football club.

“He’s a defender with a lot of experience and pedigree at a young age and a lot of qualities as a player and as a person. He’s fast, strong in one-on-one situations, is a good communicator and carries the ball well. We think he will bring a lot to the team and to the club.  

“He has trained well with the group over the last week and will continue to do so. We want to build him up in a sensible way and get him back to his best condition. If we do that we feel we could have a very valuable asset for the team.   

“We have enjoyed working with him this week and he’s enjoyed being with us and being part of the environment, getting to know the culture and how we play.

“Now we’re looking forward to getting more work in on the training pitch and integrating him into the team.”

Former England U19, U20 and U21 international Tuanzebe, who was linked with the Blues throughout the transfer window, was previously training with Premier League new boys Luton Town but was unable to agree terms on a deal, despite reportedly impressing.

Congo DR-born Tuanzebe moved to the UK aged four, growing up in Rochdale, and came through the ranks at the Red Devils’ academy where he will first crossed paths with McKenna.

The 6ft 1in tall defender made his United debut in the FA Cup in January 2017 and went on to make 21 starts and 15 sub appearances for United without scoring, captaining the Red Devils in a Carabao Cup third round tie against hometown club Dale aged 21.

While at United, he had three spells on loan at Aston Villa - helping them to promotion from the Championship via the play-offs in 2018/19 - and further stints at Napoli, where he played only two games, and in the second half of last season Stoke City, making four starts and one sub appearance, having been hampered by injury.

In addition to the trial spell with Luton and links with the Blues, Tuanzebe was also mentioned in connection with moves to another of the newly-promoted Premier League clubs, Sheffield United, and Saudi Arabia during the summer.

Away from football, Tuanzebe holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest clearing of a Hungry Hungry Hippos board, a remarkable time of 17.36 seconds achieved during a Red Devils pre-season tour of the US in 2018.

Tuanzebe will fill the remaining space in Town's 25-man squad, which was published by the EFL yesterday.

Photo: ITFC

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Tractor_Boy_Tommy added 17:17 - Sep 8
Huge risk imo but in McKenna we trust

Macedonian_Gerrard added 17:19 - Sep 8
welcome axel (great name btw)

if he stays fit, even to play every other game, thats a serious, serious signing for this level & will really help strengthen arguably our only current weakness in the squad. COYB.

carsey added 17:19 - Sep 8
If he's half as good as he is supposed to be Wolfie Burgess and Edmundson must be popping themselves who is going to be dropped
Just hope he is properly fit.

BlueArrow added 17:22 - Sep 8
Welcome to The Towen young man

BlueFarmy added 17:22 - Sep 8
No one would argue that he isn't a premiership standard player WHEN FIT, I think it's a great chance and signing for a club that has just been promoted from L1. If he can get fit brilliant, if not it's a one year punt that didn't work. Welcome Axel : )

BlueFarmy added 17:22 - Sep 8
No one would argue that he isn't a premiership standard player WHEN FIT, I think it's a great chance and signing for a club that has just been promoted from L1. If he can get fit brilliant, if not it's a one year punt that didn't work. Welcome Axel : )

Mark added 17:26 - Sep 8
It is something of a risk due to his injury record, but we are getting a 25 year old player who has made 36 appearances for Man Utd on a free transfer so it seems a sensible risk to take. I am pleased there is an option after the first year, as if he does brilliantly we could sell him rather than see him leave for nothing.

Welcome Axel!

PortmanTerrorist added 17:26 - Sep 8
Great news. Won't come straight in the Team but what a threat to our current CBs esp if we keep conceding, regardless of us winning games.

Gilesy added 17:30 - Sep 8
Broadhead and Burgess were injury risks...

blues1 added 17:34 - Sep 8
Mark. If he does brilliantly, why would we want to sell him, rather thsn keep him another year

bluesteal74 added 17:35 - Sep 8
Welcome Axel look forward to watching you in a town top once your match fit everyone said we needed another CB now we have hopefully he can do what Mas has done and we will all be laughing coyb.

BlueandTruesince82 added 17:36 - Sep 8
Risk? its a 1 year deal.

With an option to protect the asset if he does well.

Where is the risk?

blues1 added 17:37 - Sep 8
Tractorboy Tommy. Wheres the risk? Signed for 1 year on a free. If he doesn't manage to stay fit, then it is what it is. And we'll have lost nothing.

Wonky added 17:41 - Sep 8
Nobody does it better (background chant) hungry hippos hungry hippos)
Makes me feel sad for the rest.
Nobody does it half as good as you.
Axel Tuanzebe (at hungry hippos) your the best!.

Suffolkboy added 17:46 - Sep 8
BF has the angles covered ; but KM and Co are not fools and have previous knowledge of this man . It’s apparent he’s got the talent ,suitable experience and physicality to bring added quality to ITFC , so can’t see what’s to lose ,yet a great deal to gain .
Always risks to be undertaken , always judgments to be made BUT we’ve employed a super Manager/ Coach who barely puts a foot wrong !Whats to lose ,much to gain !

GatesPerm added 17:49 - Sep 8
On a 1 year contract I don’t see this as a risk, there is only upside.

A potentially substantial upside.

leftie1972 added 17:58 - Sep 8
What’s his middle name? Welcome Axel.

BeattiesBackPocket added 18:01 - Sep 8
If he stays fit it’s a good signing and experience which EVERYONE wanted. Worst case scenario it’s a one year deal win win for me!

TB42 added 18:11 - Sep 8
Welcome to the Town Axel - wishing you all the very best in your time with us!!

Bazza8564 added 18:12 - Sep 8
Great signing and if he is left footed i CAN see him coming pretty much straight in for Burgess, especially as his distribution will be of a PL quality. He's clearly had to pass some pretty intensive fitness challenges so we trust KM to have got it right

gosblue added 18:13 - Sep 8
Welcome Axel Towenzebe
We haven’t had much chance to play a back three this season as we haven’t had enough cover so our tactical options have been limited.
We signed several championship players while in league 1. Could this be our first Premier League signing?

rodthergasman added 18:20 - Sep 8
We have to trust our medical team, they must have had a good look at him.I am sure they will work with him to find the best way forward to get him fit.

Saxonblue74 added 18:21 - Sep 8
When are people going to learn to trust our recruitment?? This is an excellent signing on a free and I'm sure on our terms. Might just dust off my Harold Faltemyer vinyl!!

RobITFC added 18:27 - Sep 8
Surely this past week has been to assess him , do medicals and tests , our medical team and recruitment team are happy so what a great signing , welcome on board Axel and enjoy the ride to the Premier League!

IpswichT62OldBoy added 18:28 - Sep 8
Good business all round through January and this window, excellent signings individually and as a group to compliment and improve what we have.

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