Manchester United prospects Axel Tuanzebe and Tim Fosu-Mensah are determined to use Tour 2018 as a platform to showcase their talents, after enjoying educational loan spells in 2017/18.
The 20-year-old defenders returned earlier this summer and have each played in our two pre-season friendlies so far, against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes.
They now hope to feature in the upcoming fixtures against AC Milan, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, ahead of the Premier League campaign starting at Old Trafford against Leicester City on 10 August.
Tuanzebe, who has made eight first-team appearances for United, spent time at Aston Villa last term before suffering an ankle injury in April. He was delighted to play at Levi's Stadium on Sunday.
“It was a good workout,
“ he said.
”We've had a good camp so far, there is a good spirit, a good energy and it is good to have so much youth in the side. It shows what the club is about and shows what the manager is about. It was good to get my first runout since coming back from injury as well. It felt good, I feel good and I am ready to go again.
Expanding on his determination to impress this summer, Tuanzebe said:
“I definitely need more minutes to prove what I am about and what I can do. That is what it is about when you come into the adulthood of football. It just all about minutes and proving to the world what you can do.”
Fosu-Mensah also enjoyed an educational loan spell away from United in 2017/18, playing in the Premier League with Crystal Palace.
The Dutchman made 24 appearances for the Eagles in total and was part of a defence that helped Roy Hodgson's team stave off the threat of relegation.
Tim is now focused on adding to his 21 senior appearances with United.
“Going on that loan was a very good experience for me,” he told us in Santa Clara.
“It was nice to play in the Premier League, I learned a lot from playing and I learned a lot from the manager Roy Hodgson as well. I enjoyed the experience at Palace.Now, I definitely want to be a part of it at United, to learn, to play, to develop under this great manager and be part of this beautiful squad.
United have drawn the opening matches of Tour 2018, presented by Aon, and the players are eager to taste that winning feeling in the upcoming International Champions Cup.
However, Tuanzebe is keen to underline the fact that pre-season is all about building fitness ahead of a long and eventful season.
“We just want to get fit as we can be,” Axel explained.
“We all push each other every day in training, we can see the results coming out and we have three more games to go so we'll try to win all three, win the tournament and be ready for the start of the Premier League season.”
Turning his attention to the American fans, the youngster paid tribute to their commitment and support of the team.
“These people pay a lot of money to watch us play and it doesn't cost us anything to show them some love, show them support as well and I just want to say thank you to the fans because they have been amazing.”
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“It was a very important year for me at Valencia and I learned a lot,”Pereira told us in an exclusive interview at the UCLA training facility in LA.
“I had a lot of experiences out there and I am very happy to be back. I am ready to play.
“Yes this pre-season is very important for the team,“ he continued. ”We have to prepare very well for what is coming up next and I am doing my best to get minutes, and to show that I am ready.”