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Biography

A robust central defender, Axel Tuanzebe is a natural leader and captained the Under-18 team as a first-year scholar.

Born in Bunia, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he has been nurtured by the club's Academy since the age of eight after growing up in Rochdale. The 2015 winner of the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award was pushed into the Under-21s ahead of schedule after making three substitute appearances at that level in 2014/15. He quickly nailed down a regular place in the older age group and even made the substitutes' bench for the first team's 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace on 31 October at the tender age of 17. Unfortunately, injury halted his progress but he returned in time to help seal the Under-21 title. Axel trained with the first-team squad ahead of the pre-season friendly against Wigan Athletic in July 2016, with former manager Jose Mourinho keen to observe the promising centre-back. Tuanzebe captained the Reserves to good effect, showing his leadership qualities again, and his outstanding form in 2016/17 culminated in him being named the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year. He earned a place in the travelling squad for the second leg of the League Cup semi-final against Hull City, before making his competitive first-team bow in the Emirates FA Cup victory over Wigan in January 2017. A few months later Tuanzebe was handed his maiden senior start in May’s Premier League trip to Arsenal, in which he played 90 minutes. So impressive was the youngster, he started the next three league games that season. The talented defender signed a new contract to run until 2020, with the option of a further year, and soon after played his first game in the Champions League, during our 2-1 win against CSKA Moscow in December 2017. He spent the second half of the season on loan at then Championship side Aston Villa, but made few appearances due to injury. After returning to United - and playing 320 minutes of pre-season football for the Reds - Tuanzebe again rejoined Villa on 6 August 2018, this time on a season-long loan. He excelled in his second spell in the West Midlands and started almost every match when available for selection. His impressive campaign culminated with a trip to Wembley, and Axel played the full 90 minutes as Villa beat Derby County 2-1 to secure promotion back to the Premier League. On 5 July 2019, the club announced that Axel had penned a new contract, which will keep him at United until June 2022, with the option to extend for a further year. After an impressive pre-season, he was named on the bench for the Premier League opener against Chelsea at Old Trafford. He captained United for the first time during the Carabao Cup tie against Rochdale on 25 September, becoming one of the club's youngest-ever skippers in the process.

Read Less About Axel Tuanzebe
  • Position

    Defender

  • Country

    England

  • Date of birth

  • Joined

  • United debut

    v Wigan (H)

I’ll stay humble and keep working hard for opportunities to play.

Latest

Axel Tuanzebe.

When Tuanzebe went back to school video

Watch what happened when Axel Tuanzebe went back to his old school with the Manchester United Foundation...

Axel Tuanzebe at St Cuthbert's School in Rochdale

Tuanzebe returns to school Article

Axel went back to his old high school in Rochdale to launch Manchester United Foundation's latest partnership.

David De Gea claps the fans after Manchester United's draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford

United v Liverpool: Talking points Article

We round up the topics arising from Sunday’s high-energy game at Old Trafford.

Axel Tuanzebe

Tuanzebe: This rivalry is huge for me Article

In our interview, United fan Axel speaks passionately about our history with Liverpool and what it means to his family.

Manchester United players take on Unicef challenge.

Reds attempt Unicef challenge video

Watch as United team up with Unicef to teach kids about the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet...

Image card

Axel Tuanzebe on Instagram: "We'll keep the red flag flying high..."

Axel Tuanzebe in action against Newcastle United

Axel: We must regroup over the break Article

Read what our centre-back had to say about the Newcastle game, as well as how we prepare for our next opponent.

Scott McTominay on the ball during Manchester United v Arsenal.

United v Arsenal: The main talking points Article

Find out what the major points of interest were in the 1-1 draw in the Premier League.

Axel Tuanzebe on the ball against Rochdale.

Axel catches the eye against Rochdale video

Watch skipper Axel Tuanzebe show off his acceleration and composure...

Tuanzebe had goosebumps as he led United out

How Tuanzebe learned he was captain Article

The centre-back reveals how assistant manager Mike Phelan delivered the news before Wednesday's match against Rochdale.

Axel Tuanzebe

Tuanzebe: Being captain was a dream video

Tuanzebe talks us through the moment he found out he was going to be captain...

The manager arrives for the Carabao Cup night against Rochdale

Pogba back as Tuanzebe captains Reds Article

Ole has made nine changes to face Rochdale and explained why Angel Gomes and Diogo Dalot are not involved.

Axel Tuanzebe.

Tuanzebe: The Red from Rochdale Article

Ahead of our Carabao Cup tie, the defender spoke to United Review about growing up in the Lancashire town.

Axel Tuanzebe during Manchester United training.

UTD Unscripted: Ready for the challenge Article

Axel Tuanzebe reflects on his progression into the United first team and outlines his ambitions for the future.

Axel Tuanzebe.

Tuanzebe proud of the Academy's impact video

Five Academy players started the win over Astana and graduate Axel Tuanzebe is proud of the club's youth policy...

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