James Chester: Axel Tuanzebe partnership looking rosy
James Chester believes defensive partner Axel Tuanzebe has what it takes to reach the top.
The Villa skipper has been joined at the heart of defence by the Manchester United loanee in recent weeks, recording two clean sheets in four games under new boss Dean Smith.
And Chester is happy with his burgeoning partnership with Tuanzebe.
“I have enjoyed it to this point,” said Chester. “He certainly has all the attributes to be a top player.
“He is strong, quick and comfortable on the ball.
“He is still only very young and he is only going to get better and better.
“If I can help him and he helps me, then we are hopefully at the beginning of something positive.
“It is nice to know you have that kind of pace next to you.
“If we do find ourselves in the wrong position, his pace is enough to get us out of trouble.”
Getting on top of this season’s defensive issues will play a big part in whether Smith’s charges can still mount a promotion charge this campaign.
But after struggling to deal with the loss of John Terry as a player, Chester feels Villa are finally starting to tighten up.
“Even if we weren’t playing well last year we had enough about us to dig out results and get through sticky periods in the game,” he said. “If you look at the squad now it is maybe a little bit younger and lacking the experience we had last year.
“Since the gaffer has come in we have played four games and kept two clean sheets, so we are pleased with where it is heading.”