Solskjaer backs Tuanzebe for the top as ‘unbelievable performance’ keeps Neymar and Mbappe quiet

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The Football Faithful

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Axel Tuanzebe to become a ‘top player’ for Manchester United following the defender’s ‘unbelievable performance’ in the club’s win at Paris Saint-Germain.

Manchester United began their Champions League campaign with an impressive performance to defeat last season’s runners-up in the French capital, Marcus Rashford’s late goal sealing a 2-1 victory after an Anthony Martial own goal had cancelled out Bruno Fernandes’ opener from a retaken penalty.

It was a much-improved display from the Red Devils following a difficult start to the season and came despite several injuries to key players, with young defender Tuanzebe starring on his first appearance in 10 months following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Solskjaer was full of praise for the 22-year-old who helped marshal a back three formation deployed at the Parc des Princes and the United boss has backed the centre-back for a huge future at Old Trafford.

“To see Axel [Tuanzebe] play as he has done – I think his last game was maybe Colchester – it’s an unbelievable performance by him,” he told MUTV.

“He’s only trained for a couple of weeks and he’s absolutely spot on. Axel’s a tremendous defender, a great leader.

“He’s come through the Academy and we’ve known for years that he’s going to be a top player for us and he’s got the character and the attitude that a Man United player should have.”

Tuanzebe helped frustrate a PSG forward line containing talents such as Neymar, Angel di Maria and Kylian Mbappe, winning one tightly contested challenge after a footrace with the latter in a confident and mature display.

Solskjaer says his side were well aware they would have to dig deep and ‘defend well’ against one of the most formidable attacking line-ups in world football, praising Tuanzebe once more after his side opened their European campaign with a precious three points in Paris.

“You know when you go away from home against a team like this, against players like Neymar and Mbappe, top, top players in the world, that you will have to defend well and David [De Gea] will have to make a few saves.

“Sometimes you’ll get in a foot race with Mbappe and you have to run with him and we know Axel’s qualities, he’s a top defender.

“It’s his first game in 10 months or something which is testament to the quality he has.”