Axel Tuanzebe speaks to the press ahead of Manchester United v Astana.

Tuanzebe: Staying here was the right decision

Wednesday 18 September 2019 18:58

Axel Tuanzebe is delighted with the progress he has made at Manchester United and believes he made the right decision not to leave the Reds on loan this season.

The defender has spent 18 months on loan to Aston Villa over the past two campaigns and believes the experience has helped him to mature as a player.

Since returning from the Villans this summer, Axel has established himself in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad and has been selected in the matchday 18 for all five Premier League games this season.
Axel was introduced as a late substitute against Leicester City on Saturday.
The boss also confirmed on Wednesday that the youngster will make his first United start in over two years when we take on Astana on Thursday.

Asked about his development with the Reds, Axel said he is thrilled with the senior status he now occupies in Ole’s squad.

“It’s part of the process of growing,” Tuanzebe told the media, during Wednesday’s pre-match press conference. 

“I remember my glimpses in the first team when I was 19. It wasn’t to be then, but the manager just said to keep working hard. Now I’m 21 and things are starting to open more and we have a clearer path of where I want to go and where the team is going. Staying here this season was the right decision.”
Axel enjoyed a superb loan spell at Villa Park last season, when he played a central role in Dean Smith’s side gaining promotion back to the Premier League.

Overall he played 30 games for Villa in 2018/19, a figure which was restricted due to a foot injury that ruled him out for four months. Tuanzebe feels that the regular first-team football while on loan helped his game to continue growing.

“You realise when you come into the world of men’s football, and especially the Championship, you realise it’s not all about nice play, it’s also about doing the job and ensuring you get the three points,” said Axel.

“It becomes more of a shift than just enjoying the game. I think I’ve toughened up a lot and have learnt to ride the battles. You know what you’re up against, and what you have to do to ensure you win each game."

Our no.38 also admitted he spoke to Ole about his future when he returned to United over the summer.

“I had a conversation with the manager about what was best for my development,” he said. “Staying here was the better option. I have faith in the process and the plan that’s in place. 

“Tomorrow is a stepping stone to reaching the bigger goal. The opportunity is there for me to express myself and that’s why I want to deliver tomorrow.

“This season I think I’m extremely hungry. For all the other youngsters coming through it’s a great season to jump onto,” he added.

Reading this in our app? If not, you might miss some exclusive features not found on Download the Official App here.