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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

Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe training in Marbella.

Ole exclusive: Homegrown duo to bring the power Article

In our latest conversation, Solskjaer explains why Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe are looking stronger than ever.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Reds train ahead of flight to Belgium Article

Check out who was working at the Aon Training Complex as Scott McTominay was with the main group.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Team news before Chelsea away Article

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has provided an update on new signing Odion Ighalo and five other members of his squad.

'Maguire's had a massive impact on the club' Article

Axel Tuanzebe explains why Harry deserved to be made club captain, despite only being a Red for six months.

Axel Tuanzebe.

Tuanzebe exclusive: I'm getting stronger every day Article

Axel discusses his fitness, our new recruits, the club captaincy and a hunger to lift trophies with the Reds.

Axel Tuanzebe in the gym

Raising the bar video

Axel Tuanzebe shows off his strength in the gym as the hard graft in Marbella continues...

Tuanzebe: I'll be back on the pitch soon video

"I'm a lot stronger now and soon to be back on the pitch with the lads again," says Axel Tuanzebe in our interview...

Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe.

United Daily: Here are Sunday's top talking points video

Watch as Scott McTominay, Daniel James & Axel Tuanzebe provide exclusive insights in a new episode of 'United Daily'...

Axel Tuanzebe.

Tuanzebe and McTominay step it up in Spain video

Axel and Scott worked as a pair under the guidance of the club's fitness staff, as you can see here...

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Solskjaer's team news for FA Cup trip Article

The United manager discusses his squad for Sunday's fourth-round clash.

Exclusive injury update on six defenders Article

Read the latest news from Solskjaer about Bailly, Dalot, Fosu-Mensah, Rojo, Shaw and Tuanzebe.

Tuanzebe: Our team spirit is strong video

Axel Tuanzebe praised the togetherness within United's squad, following our 4-0 win against AZ...

Axel Tuanzebe

Tuanzebe wants to finish group stage on a high Article

Axel Tuanzebe is seeking the result we need to top Group L against AZ Alkmaar on Thursday.

Tuanzebe: Let's paint the town red Article

The Academy graduate, who was raised in Rochdale, knows just how important the derby is to the fans in Manchester.

Axel Tuanzebe.

Solskjaer drops a hint about Tuanzebe Article

Ole discusses the prospect of Axel facing Aston Villa this weekend - and jokes he may give the team talk!

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