Football Update: Mitchell has made an instant impact at Hearts, Tuanzebe has left on loan to Villa, and Fosu-Mensah and Pereira had results to forget.
Manchester United announced earlier this week that Axel Tuanzebe would be joining Championship side Aston Villa on loan for the rest of the season. The 20-year-old defender has made three appearances for the senior squad this season, all coming in different competitions. The most recent being the New Year’s Day Premier League game against Everton.
Mourinho is full of praise for the versatile player – who can occupy roles in defense or midfield – and believed that more game experience would be for the youngster’s benefit.
“Tuanzebe is a very good player that is not having lots of possibilities to play here,” Mourinho said recently. “But he’s our player and he will be our player – no chance we give up on such a talented boy. He is a player that we like very much.”
The strong connection with Aston Villa appears to be growing, mainly through Villa manager and United legend, Steve Bruce. He will join Sam Johnstone as well as former United defenders Richie De Laet and James Chester.
He will be eligible to play in Villa’s next game, a trip to Sheffield United on Tuesday 30th January.
James Wilson – Sheffield United
Wilson was an unused substitute in Sheffield United’s FA Cup Fourth Round game against Preston North End on Saturday afternoon. Wilson, who has impressed in his short time at Bramall Lane, had to settle for a spot on the bench and watch his side creep past with a narrow 1-0 victory.
His next chance to garner some game-time will be when the Blades host Aston Villa on Tuesday night. Wilson will come up against United teammates Sam Johnstone and new Villa signing Axel Tuanzebe.
Demetri Mitchell – Hearts
Mitchell has made an immediate impact in the short time that he has been a Hearts player. His debut against Hibernian in the Scottish Cup warranted a man of the match award after a strong display that helped his side to a 1-0 victory. He followed his excellent showing by aiding Hearts to another clean sheet in a 3-0 win over Hamilton Academical in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday night. He gained his second man of the match award in three games, with another impressive performance against Motherwell on Saturday afternoon.
Manager Craig Levein has fit Mitchell into the side as a left-wing back, and he has thrived in this position so far. Defensively he looks capable and going forward his pace, trickery and skill are a constant threat to the opposition.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah – Crystal Palace
Fosu-Mensah was on the receiving end of a 4-1 thrashing against a strong Arsenal team last weekend. Arsenal started the game with electrifying pace and were 4-0 up within the first 22 minutes. The slow start from Palace gave Tim and the team no chance of recovering.
As FA Cup weekend is taking place, it is a weekend off for Palace, who were knocked out of the competition by Brighton earlier this year. They return to action next Tuesday, as they make the short trip to the London Stadium to face David Moyes and West Ham United.
Andreas Pereira – Valencia CF
Since our last report, Pereira has only featured once for Valencia, coming in Saturday’s 4-1 thrashing at home to Real Madrid. Pereira came off the bench with 17 minutes to go, but was unable to aid his team and saw Madrid put two late goals past Neto to seal an emphatic win for Los Blancos.
The result leaves Valencia only two points ahead of Madrid in La Liga, but the holding champions have a game in-hand.
Sam Johnstone – Aston Villa
Johnstone will welcome his United teammate Axel Tuanzebe to Aston Villa, hoping to bolster an already impressive defensive line. The shot-stopper will also be eager to build on Villa’s current form, who have won four straight in the Championship.
In their last outing, Johnstone helped his team to a 3-1 home victory over Barnsley. The keeper will look to keep it rolling as he will look to stop James Wilson and Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night.
Dean Henderson – Shrewsbury Town
Dean Henderson has been the subject of controversy recently, having been dealt a three-game ban by the FA. The punishment came from an incident involving Blackburn Rovers fans earlier this month. He was alleged to have thrown objects back at the home supporters and was found guilty.
Henderson played in his sides 2-2 draw at home to Doncaster Rovers last weekend, and has sit out two of his three game ban already. In his absence, Shrewsbury Town have drawn one and won one. Henderson will sit out the away trip to Bristol Rovers before returning to action when his side host Plymouth Argyle in February.
Matty Willock – FC Utrecht
Willock was not in FC Utrecht’s senior squad when the side hosted Feyenoord midweek and has not featured for the U-21 side either. With no news coming from either Manchester United or FC Utrecht we cannot speculate on the reasoning for his absence.
Regan Poole – Northampton Town
After a steady run in the side – starting in five games – Poole was unexpectedly benched for the game against MK Dons in League 1. However, after his one game absence, the young Welshman returned to the starting line-up against a strong Blackburn Rovers side, who sit third in the table. Poole helped his side to a well-earned point away from home and almost got on the scoresheet himself, firing a volley over the bar in the second-half.
The point keeps Northampton Town three points above the relegation zone, having had a recent resurgence under manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Poole will return to action at home against Rochdale on February 3.