Nothing excites Manchester United fans than seeing a youngster come up the ranks and prove successful. Be it the famous class of ’92 or the latest academy success stories like Marcus Rashford, we love to see the graduates storm into the first squad.
One of the names that has been making waves in United’s youth squads is defender Axel Tuanzebe. The 19-year-old was picked by manager Jose Mourinho as one of the future prospects, handing him first-team debut in the closing stages of last season.
As United grappled with Europa League commitments in the final months of the campaign, Tuanzebe made five first-team appearances, giving a glimpse of his unlimited potential.
One thing that stood out was his flexibility, with the youngster used at right-back as well as in central midfield during his stint in the first team. It was widely expected by the fans that Tuanzebe would be knocking the doors of the first-team more regularly this year.
However, the youngster is yet to make a single appearance for United this season which makes me wonder if Mourinho has missed a trick in the summer transfer window.
If the Portuguese tactician was not thinking of using the youngster regularly, he could have sent him out on loan to give him a taste of regular first-team football elsewhere; may be at a Championship club.
The teenager gave an interview to United’s official television channel on Wednesday where he claimed that he was ready for regular football as he matured over the last few months as a person.
No doubt about that because watching Tuanzebe at Under-23 level gives you a feeling that he has outgrown that level and is ready for regular first-team football.
So, did Mourinho miss a trick? The coach could still be having thoughts of giving him more minutes in the coming months. The fans certainly hope so and the mood on Twitter was a reflection of the same.
he is far better than smalling
— leyxon_delee (@Leyxon_D) October 4, 2017
Play him then
— Saf (@FinessedByFosu) October 4, 2017
Sell Smalling, start him
— Aditya Patil (@patiladitya17) October 4, 2017
Give him more chances or loan him out. #MUFC
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@FootballFans1_) October 4, 2017
He should be given chance to play then, either UCL or EPL
— Lincoln (@lincolnkipngeno) October 4, 2017