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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.

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    v Wigan (H)

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


Di'Shon Bernard.

Bernard hopes to emulate Axel Article

Di'Shon earned a place in Team of the Week as Salford City pushed towards the play-offs.

We’ve so much time for this Tuanzebe block video

Axel Tuanzebe earned plenty of praise from fans on Thursday, after an assured display at the back…

Solskjaer: Tuanzebe was outstanding Article

The boss reserved special praise for the homegrown centre-back on his return to the starting line-up.

Ole: Axel is ready Article

The boss gave an indication that Tuanzebe could feature against Granada in Thursday night's second leg.

Trusting in youth is in United's blood Article

Head of Academy Nick Cox says Thursday night was a huge boost for everyone in the Academy.

Tunnel Insider: 'It was a good workout' video

Hear from Ole, Axel and Adnan Januzaj after our second-leg draw with Real Sociedad in the Europa League....

United Briefing: Axel's in it to win it Article

United are through to the Europa League last 16 and Axel Tuanzebe has clearly got that winning mentality.

Tuanzebe: I'm a bit gutted! video

Axel scored his first senior goal on Thursday night, only to see it ruled out. Here's his take...

Ice cold from Axel! video

Look out for Tuanzebe's cheeky flick (00:39), which brightened up a bleak day weather-wise at the training ground...

Scott McTominay.

McTominay says racism is a disgrace Article

Scott is sickened by the recent racial abuse of his team-mates on social media.

Old Trafford

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The club and the police comment on the issue of racist abuse, as Marcus Rashford becomes the latest victim.

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Harry Maguire, Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke speak out after Wednesday's unacceptable incidents on social media.

Eric Bailly.

Why Bailly missed the Sheffield United game Article

The Reds' Ivorian centre-back was set to play but failed to make the line-up for the visit of the Blades.

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Find out who Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has selected for the game with the Blades, including a surprise in defence.

Axel Tuanzebe

What's Axel's main aim for 2021? Article

Axel Tuanzebe helped keep Watford at bay on Saturday and told us he is hungry for more action.

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