After Louis Van Gaal’s philosophy of developing youth talents, Tuanzebe looked set to make his first team debut last season.

However, an ill fated injury ruled him out for the second half of the campaign after being inches away from the first team. His potential was spotted after being used as a substitute against Crystal Palace in that season but still wasn’t able to get out on the pitch by Louis Van Gaal.

Only a year earlier was he given the U18’s Player of the Year award after the then 17 year old’s excellent campaign.

Credit: ManUtd // Getty Images











Two years later, Mourinho gave him the debut he craved for so long against since he joined Manchester United at the young age of eight years old. With Warren Joyce and Jose Mourinho in close proximity it surely was a proud moment for him when he got the call to get ready. The man who nurtured his talent in the youth team was greeted with a warm handshake and after a quick embrace with Mourinho, a man so important in his future career he was ready. In the 67’ minute he replaced Tim Fosu- Mensah and was swiftly acknowledged by the Old Trafford faithful.

Axel Tuanzebe of Manchester United is tackled by Stephen Warnock of Wigan Athletic during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth round match between Manchester United and Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford on January 29, 2017 in Manchester, England. ( Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe)













He didn’t once look out of place against Wigan and showed his physical strength alongside his ball playing ability to his team mates.

Speaking after the game, Tuanzebe expressed his joy to finally make his debut and how he would make the most of the opportunity given to him by Jose Mourinho.


“I’ve been thinking about this since I was a little boy and now it’s come true, I can’t really believe it’s happened. Me and my family are very proud, but now it’s just about getting back to the training ground and going again. If I’m with the Under-23s, I’m with the Under-23s, but I’ll stay humble and keep working hard to get another opportunity to play again.


With a clean sheet and a win under his belt, Tuanzebe will be looking to push for more first team appearances especially in future cup competitions. Still only 19 years old, Tuanzebe will be a name to remember in the MUFC youth set up.

Axel Tuanzebe – Mourinho’s Defensive Prodigy
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