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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.


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!

Kicking Off: Will Tuanzebe return? video

Axel Tuanzebe could have a big role to play against Sheffield United, according to our panel on Kicking Off...

Axel Tuanzebe.

Triple boost for Reds ahead of Sunday Article

Three of United's injured players were working with the main group at the Aon Training Complex on Wednesday.

Nemanja Matic in training.

Early team news for the trip to Sheffield Article

Assess the options as they stand, ahead of Sunday's return to Premier League action against the Blades.

Brandon Williams and Scott McTominay help to celebrate one of Marcus Rashford's goals against Chelsea

First-team youngsters impress Reds legend Article

Nicky Butt explains what he expects to see next from the young players in United's senior side.

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..."

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