Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says young defender Axel Tuanzebe will have a chance to stake a claim for a first-team place in the weeks ahead.
The centre-half, who can also play at right-back, spent last season on loan at Aston Villa in the Championship and they had been keen to bring him back to Villa Park this summer after winning promotion to the Premier League.
There is still a chance United could send Tuanzebe out on loan for at least the first half of next season, particularly if the club manage to sign Harry Maguire, but for now Solskjaer is happy to keep the 21-year-old with his squad as he plans for the new campaign.
The Old Trafford club are due to take on Championship side Leeds United in Perth on Wednesday as part of their pre-season preparations. Solskjaer says if Tuanzebe impresses in the next few weeks, he can force his way firmly into contention at United.
“Axel has got a great chance of staying here and playing,” he told reporters. “He had a great season last year. “It was a stop-start season with injuries, but he’s really proven that he is capable of playing at that level, he got promoted with Villa and he’s come back very strong, focused.
“He did well in the first game here [a 2-0 win over Perth Glory], so he’s one of the young, exciting players that I can’t wait to see more.” United are 2.20 to win their first game of the season against Chelsea and 21.00 to win the Premier League outright.