Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has singled out young defender Axel Tuanzebe for praise after his surprise performance in the 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain last night.
The Red Devils were a little under-strength at the Parc des Princes, with Harry Maguire missing, and Paul Pogba also absent from Solskjaer’s starting XI.
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Tuanzebe has not played a lot of football for Man Utd in recent times, but the 22-year-old came in for Maguire and put in a great shift in defence against big names like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Solskjaer was unsurprisingly full of praise for Tuanzebe after the game, singling out the England Under-21 international for the way he rose to the occasion.
“To see Axel – it’s an unbelievable performance, he’s only trained for a few weeks! He is a great leader,” the Norwegian tactician was quoted by the Metro.
“We know that when you go away against a team like this, against players like Neymar and Mbappe, top, top players in the world, we know we have to defend well,’ said Solskjaer.
“We know David De Gea will have to make a few saves. Sometimes you’ll get in a foot race with Mbappe and you’ll have to run with him and we know Axel’s qualities – he’s a top defender.
“First game in, I don’t know, 10 months or something, which is just testament to the quality he has.”
United have a proud record of promoting academy players, so their fans will be pleased to see another homegrown talent showing what he can do on the big stage.
Tuanzebe might not be quite in the same league as their other exciting youngsters like Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, but he reminded everyone of what he’s capable of with his big performance last night.