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Manchester United academy is considered to be one of the elite academies across the world. Many famous players have come out of the academy and have progressed to have long and successful careers. The famous names include the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Peter Schmeichel etc. All these players played for the academy before making the cut for the senior team. The latest such player who has been talked about on the lines of these legends is Axel Tuanzebe. Axel Tuanzebe has been impressing the youth coaches and gained media
Axel Tuanzebe has been impressing the youth coaches and gained media attention of late. He made his league debut against Arsenal at Emirates which ended in a 2-0 loss for the Red Devils. But one of the major talking points from an otherwise shambolic United performance was the display of Axel Tuanzebe.
Born on 14th November 1987, in Bunia, DR Congo, Tuanzebe has been associated with Manchester United ever since he was 8-years old. He was a member of Milk Cup winning youth sides in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, Tuanzebe won the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award. Tuanzebe was the first first-year scholar to captain the under-18 side since Gary Neville. On 29 January 2017, Tuanzebe made his Manchester United debut as a 68th-minute substitute by replacing Timothy Fosu-Mensah during a 4-0 FA Cup victory over Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford.
Four days later, he extended his contract at Manchester United until 2020, with the option of one year of further extension. On 7 May 2017, Tuanzebe was named in the starting 11 for the first time against Arsenal in the 36th week of Premier League. Tuanzebe began his international career in June 2016, when he made his first appearance for England at under-19 level, against Mexico. He was a member of the under-20 squad which won all three matches at the Four Nations tournament in October 2016.
Axel Tuanzebe is a powerful and young defender who is comfortable on the ball and is known for his ruggedness and tenacity. He is an athletic, dogged and determined defender who is tireless in defensive duties throughout the game. A tall defender with good strength for such a young player and has some decent pace. He has a good leap and can out-jump a majority of his peers. His positioning sense is terrific and can usually anticipate where the ball is going to end up which leads him into getting a quite fair share of blocks and interceptions.
He is also very composed on the ball and does not panic when under pressure. He is quite vocal and can command a back four well, which saw him being made the captain of Manchester United U18s team. He can do both roles whether it is covering or being in the front and is usually very patient.
Technically, he is not the strongest. His first touch is not all that great and it is fairly inconsistent. He is capable of dribbling the ball through the middle of the back and capable of getting past opposition players. Although he has a terrific leap, his heading technique is pretty average and he does not dominate the aerial balls as often as he should. His tackling is inconsistent as well.
He sometimes gets into situations where he marks the opposition player into a corner and tries to tackle, eventually missing the ball and giving the opposition a chance to knock it past him, which leads him to using his strength to stop the player from getting around him. His acceleration could be better especially when it comes to turning and chasing back, its once he is in full strides do you see his speed.
Axel Tuanzebe is a terrific talent and very much capable of playing football at international level. It is still not known as to which nation he will most likely end up representing. Whether its Congo or England remains to be seen. However, he is capable of playing for either country in the future. He does also have the determination and aggression needed in the English game and could have a good career in the premier league.