Boss excited to see more of Tuanzebe at United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cannot wait to see more of Axel Tuanzebe as the defender bids to make a name for himself in a Manchester United shirt.
The 21-year-old centre half made a big impression on loan at newly-promoted Aston Villa last season, when he helped the Midlands club achieve promotion to the Premier League through the play-offs. Now he is back at Old Trafford and after putting pen to paper on a new three-year contract on 5 July, the youngster is exciting the boss with his potential.
"Axel has got a great chance of staying here and playing," Solskjaer said, at his press conference ahead of Wednesday's Tour 2019 match against Leeds United in Perth.
"He had a great season last year, albeit a stop-start season with injuries, but he’s really proven that he’s capable of playing at this level.
"He got promoted with Aston Villa and he’s come back very strong and focused. He did well in the first game here in Perth, so he’s one of the young exciting players I can’t wait to see more of."
Axel was named in the starting XI for our first pre-season game against Perth Glory and played the first 45 minutes alongside Phil Jones in central defence.
The defender was replaced at half-time as Ole rotated his squad for match fitness purposes, but nonetheless Axel produced an assured performance as United kept a clean sheet against the Australian A-League outfit.
With six centre-backs in the tour squad, there'll be fierce competition for a spot in the opening day XI against Chelsea and Ole has reiterated the starting berths will be given to whoever stands out.
"Whoever performs will be part of the team," stressed the manager. "Whoever doesn’t will have to fight to get back in."
Since graduating from United's Academy, Tuanzebe has made five Premier League appearances for the Reds, most recently appearing as a late substitute in our 2-0 win over Everton on 1 January 2018.
Axel played 33 times over two separate loan spells at Villa Park and remained in the Villans' starting XI for their final nine games of the 2018/19 campaign after returning from injury in mid-April.
United v Leeds will be the second of six pre-season games being shown live on MUTV this summer. The club's official television channel is available on MUTV.com, the MUTV app, Amazon Fire, Roku, Xbox and Apple TV.