Axel Tuanzebe on his learning curve, Manchester United’s ‘brotherhood spirit’ and Romelu Lukaku’s magnificence

Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe has talked to the official Manchester United website about his progress at the Old Trafford club. The 19=year-old has suggested that his football style has become much better, stating that his involvement within the first team is one of the reasons for this. Tuanzebe has been training with the first team since last season, playing little part in the U23’s, with manager Jose Mourinho aiming to get him up to speed in his squad this season.

Earlier in the summer, Tuanzebe travelled to the United States of America with the first team but suffered a minor back injury at the start of the season, keeping him out of action for short period of time. The player was involved in the UEFA Champions League squad which travelled to Moscow last week, beating CSKA Moscow 4-1, but he did not play a part in the match. This season, the player could find himself being trusted more by the manager, especially with Marcos Rojo still on the sidelines and Phil Jones possibly joining him. Talking about his learning curve, Tuanzebe said:

“I’d say I’ve matured and my football style has matured. I think I make better decisions now, you learn about prioritising the team more rather than playing for yourself. That’s a massive part of getting into the team because everything you do is about trying to benefit the team.

“I’ve been with the first team now for more than half a season and you just keep learning. There is no point where you stop learning or you’ve seen enough, it’s always a continuous journey. The Moscow trip was a great experience and a different type of preparation, we were there for longer and we trained there, so you pick up little things.”

Tuanzebe has not played for United this season, but with injuries and rotation, he could be about to feature in the coming month with United playing six matches in all competition, four away from home. The 19-year-old is a prospect and Mourinho knows that. The Portuguese manager previously spoke about him after making his first appearance under him at the start of last season in a friendly against Wigan Athletic. The manager suggested he was one for the future and ten minutes as enough to see his potential.

The player has been watching his teammates thrive this season, Romelu Lukaku being the player he reserves a high-praise for. Tuanzebe talked about United’s start to the season, which has been the best thing to come from the last four years of action. He then talked about the bond within the team and the fact Manchester United will be a team to look out for this season. Tuanzebe knows that he will be given a chance if he continues to impress Mourinho, which is something he will keep doing. Concluding, Tuanzebe said:

“Since the start of the season, all the performances have been very good. It’s been built up from pre-season and there is kind of a brotherhood spirit in the team and pushing on during the season I think we’ll be one team to watch out for.

“Everyone is happy. The manager has rotated the squad and had players in and out and we’ve been getting great results.

“For us as a team, Romelu [Lukaku] has been magnificent. He’s been the standout guy as the big man up top. He’s settled in very well. He can speak about seven languages so he can interact with everyone in the squad. He’s been a big inspiration to the team and a good role model. He’s a really good guy and off the pitch, he talks to everyone and I think that’s a great attribute to have.”

Axel Tuanzebe will be a great player for United, given the chance to become that. Mourinho has been touted as a manager who is not an advocate for youth, but in the last year, more young players have played for Mourinho’s side than other teams. The rise of Marcus Rashford and the continuation of that under the Portuguese manager shows just that. Jose Mourinho seems to have adopted a saying from the past; “if they are good enough, they are old enough”. This season alone, Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay and Demetri Mitchell have all been given the chance to show their class, both the former being around the first team now, Mitchell seemingly not that far off. Tuanzebe has the world at his feet, the guidance of his teammates and his manager and all to achieve in this industry.


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