Manchester United are renewing players’ contracts at an impressive rate. But Axel Tuanzebe has not been one of them so far.

The 23-year-old’s current contract expires in 2022. There is an option to extend it for an additional year, but it has not yet been triggered. Tuanzebe’s talent is so great that he should sign up for United sooner rather than later.

The problem is, there are only so many places on the United squad. Tuanzebe should have made almost 100 appearances for the Red Devils by now.

(Photo by Matthew Peters / Manchester United via Getty Images)

Instead, a string of injuries means the center-back has only played 33 times. And competing for places won’t make it any easier in the years to come.

Eric Bailly has signed a new contract with Old Trafford with Teden Mengi. With Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire performing week after week, Tuanzebe may be wondering what the future holds.

Most likely, the young defender will sign a new contract of his own and then borrow. But it’s telling that he’s nearing his mid-twenties and still just knocking on the door.

Tough competition for places

Bailly hopes to leave his own injury problems behind. Only time will tell if that happens. But there is no doubt about the quality of the Ivorian when he is fit and shooting.

As for Mengi, he’s formed an impressive partnership with Tuanzebe for United U23s and wants to build on his current loan spell next time.

Mengi is very important to United and is five years younger than Tuanzebe. His injury at the end of the season is disappointing but he is hoping to get back into action, which promises to be a very exciting 2021/22.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had many chances to play against Tuanzebe this season. Still, he has played for a minute in the club’s last 13 league games.

Mengi and Bailly appear to be with United for the long term. If Tuanzebe follows suit, the battle for a first-team shot could be tougher than ever.

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