, Opinion: 26-year-old has earned new Ipswich Town deal after slow Portman Road start

Opinion: 26-year-old has earned new Ipswich Town deal after slow Portman Road start

Ipswich Town pulled off an impressive signing in the early stages of the season when they recruited defender Axel Tuanzebe on a free transfer.

Ipswich Town signed Tuanzebe as a free agent in September. He’d been without a club since his departure from Manchester United earlier in the summer but he’s had to bide his time for chances at Portman Road.

He didn’t feature in a Championship matchday squad until late October and his debut came on November 1st in the EFL Cup clash with Fulham. The 26-year-old had to wait until January for his first back-to-back starts of the season too.

However, in recent weeks, Tuanzebe has stepped into the side and made the spot at right-back his own. He’s started four of the last five Championship games, playing all 90 minutes in three of those too.

The DR Congo-born defender has put in impressive performances on the right-hand side of the backline. Harry Clarke has been a reliable option there this season but Tuanzebe’s form means it could be tricky for him to get back into his hometown club’s starting XI.

Question marks still surround Tuanzebe’s future though with the deal he penned last year ending this summer.

After a successful run in the side though, he has proven he’s deserving of a new contract at Ipswich Town.

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, Opinion: 26-year-old has earned new Ipswich Town deal after slow Portman Road start

Who is this?

One to hold onto

The former Aston Villa and Napoli loanee has had a torrid time with injuries at points in his career but to date, Ipswich Town have kept him fit. They’ve managed his minutes carefully across the campaign and their wise approach has meant he’s been able to come into the team and make a positive impact in recent weeks.

As a player widely tipped to play at the top of the game, Tuanzebe will be hoping a sustained run where he can start and stay injury-free can help him get back to Premier League level. He could make that rise at Portman Road of course, with the Tractor Boys 3rd in the Championship table and a point off top.

He’s a more than comfortable option at centre-back too with his versatility making him a valuable option at the back.

Losing him this summer would be a big blow after the strides forward made in recent weeks. Regardless of how the season ends, Tuanzebe can be an asset for Ipswich Town and rewarding his run in the side with a contract extension would be a move plenty of fans will get behind.

Time will tell just what the club and player have in mind for the summer, but few will have complaints if he’s offered an extended deal.

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