Solskjaer: We hope Axel can kick on
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to see Axel Tuanzebe progress further, after the homegrown centre-back made a brilliant return to first-team action in Paris.
Our no.38 successfully repelled virtually everything Kylian Mbappe and Paris Saint-Germain had to throw at him on Tuesday, despite it being his first senior appearance in over 300 days.
The boss is delighted with how the defender has recovered from a succession of injuries, but cautioned that he and his backroom staff would have to carefully manage the player over the coming weeks.
“It was a great performance by a kid who has not played for 10 months,” Ole told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
“I’m delighted for him because he’s such a professional character. He wants everything; he works really hard, he’s been really thorough in his rehab. I’m very pleased for him.
“Now to get the consistency in his performances, he has to stay injury-free and we need to manage that. That’s mine and his job, and the physio staff as well, of course.”
Solskjaer went on to emphasise Axel’s leadership qualities and also his versatility, hinting that both attributes could come in handy during what will be a hectic campaign.
First and foremost though, is enabling Axel to find his rhythm and start regularly challenging for a place in Ole’s starting XI.
“I think he can kick on, he’s such a leader,” Solskjaer added. “He can play centre-back, right-back, he can play centre-midfield; he can play many positions.
“He’s a boy who takes responsibilities for his own development.
“Now it’s about making sure he’s doing everything he can to have a long career at United. Hopefully, he can get this consistency.”