According to The Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa defender Axel Tunazebe has had surgery on his foot, following a metatarsal injury.
The 21-year-old Man United loanee has been superb for The Villans so far this season in a severely depleted defence, but sustained the injury leading up to the Leeds match before Christmas.
Manager Dean Smith was forced to call upon 21-year-old James Bree in Tuanzebe’s absence, who performed excellently, before recalling Tommy Elphick from his loan at Hull for the match against QPR on New Year’s Day.
This means that Villa have not necessarily solved their defensive crisis that they have had so far this season. The club have only really had two first team centre-backs in the squad, James Chester and Tuanzebe, forcing players such as Alan Hutton and Mile Jedinak to occupy that position. The arrival of Elphick would have alleviated those problems, but the injury to Tuanzebe means that they are back at square one.
Therefore, in order to mount a legitimate promotion challenge, Villa will need to recruit a number of players in that position, starting with a loan move for Wolves defender Kortney Hause, who The Lions have been linked with after not featuring at all in the Premier League this season.
Hause would be a start, but there is the feeling that Villa may need an extra signing just to add security at the back. Despite being in tenth place in the Championship, only seven teams have conceded more goals than Villa this season, and this is an area that Smith will be desperate to fix.
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