Who is Axel Tuanzebe? The Man Utd starlet who could silence Mourinho youth doubters

The youngster has been included in the first-team set-up recently and,
even if he doesn’t feature against Wigan, a debut isn’t far off

When Jose Mourinho made his bow as Manchester United manager against
Wigan Athletic in July 2016, Axel Tuanzebe made an impression straight
away. “With Axel, 10 minutes is enough. The potential is there, you see
it immediately,” the new boss told reporters afterwards.

Now the 19-year-old is on the verge of a first senior appearance as
United get set to face Wigan once more in Mourinho’s 800th game as a
manager in the FA Cup on Sunday. It is fair to say it is a call-up which
has been in the pipeline for some time.

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The young centre-back had looked destined for a first-team bow under
Louis van Gaal during the Dutchman’s second season in charge. He was an
unused substitute for the trip to Crystal Palace in October 2015 and
then would surely have been among the host of young players to receive
call-ups in the spring of 2016 were it not for an injury which ruled him
out of the majority of the second half of the campaign.

But while the likes of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Tim Fosu-Mensah,
James Weir, Donald Love and Guillermo Varela have experienced very
different spells in the jungle that is senior football since Marcus
Rashford stole the spotlight during those early months of 2016, Tuanzebe
now looks ready to make the step up to the United first team under
Mourinho.

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