- Name: Axel Tuanzebe
- Date of Birth (Age): 14th November 1997 (22)
- Signed: 1st January 2017
- Appearances: 18
- Appearances This Season: 10
- Tackles per game: 0.5
- Interceptions per game: 0.9
- Clearances per game: 1.4
- Pass Success (%): 89.5
- Long Balls per Game: 1.4
- Contract Expiry: 30th July 2022
Back in July 2019, Manchester United’s pre-season tour kicked off with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remarking that Axel Tuanzebe ‘is going to be the future of this club’. Fast-forward to September 2020 and Manchester United are still looking for a centre back in the market to partner Maguire. Reason? Axel Tuanzebe has a paltry 10 appearances in all competitions for The Red Devils in the 19/20 season. Tuanzebe’s injury woes continue to hamper his progress. Since a Metatarsal Fracture back in December 2018, when the Bunia-born man was on loan at Aston Villa, he has suffered 3 more injury lay-offs and has missed a cumulative 35 games for Manchester United.
Even for all those injury-hit periods, Axel Tuanzebe has performed well whenever he’s fit and is a natural leader on the pitch. He has been often praised for his leadership qualities by Nicky Butt and has long been a candidate for the future captaincy. In fact, the talented Englishman was given the armband for the first time in a FA Cup 4th Round tie against Rochdale. He led a team full of players senior to him as United overcame Rochdale, winning 5-3 on penalties. Tuanzebe was even named as Man of the Match for his brilliant performance against Astana in the Europa League Group Stage.
When fit, the pacy CB slots in straight into the first-team, such is his quality. But his injuries have restricted him all season long to prove himself and to show the world what he’s capable of.
Season Rating: 5/10
Ambitions For Next Season:
Manchester United have struggled all season long to find the right man to partner club captain, Harry Maguire. Victor Lindelof has done a good job being paired up with Maguire but both of them are similar kinds of players and both of them lack the pace to cover up each-other. Eric Bailly does have the pace but is inconsistent and injury-prone as well. Axel Tuanzebe could potentially be the very player Solskjaer has been searching for, the one who can partner Maguire. The 22-year old has electrifying pace for a central defender, and the calm, poise, and maturity to play the role. He’s intelligent in his distribution and has a good range of passing. Being on the fringes of the first-team since 2015, Tuanzebe’s ability was never a question, but it’s his injury record that doesn’t allow him to establish himself as a starter for Manchester United. I would definitely love to see the Carrington product excel at the club and cement his position in the team. He could be the solution to our defensive woes if we can’t get a quality CB this summer. Some United fans suggest that he should go out on loan. With Teden Mengi coming up fast and strong, Tuanzebe needs to get things sorted.
The 20/21 season would be crucial for Axel Tuanzebe and it would be a make-or-break season for him. When Tuanzebe returns to fitness at the start of next season, he will be playing for his future. What are your thoughts on Tuanzebe?
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