Photos: Axel Tuanzebe training with Manchester United’s first-team

by Leo Nieboer

Axel Tuanzebe has been pictured training at Carrington with Manchester United’s first-team ahead of Sunday’s game against Stoke City.

The 18-year-old was included in Louis van Gaal‘s match-day squad for the trip to Crystal Palace last season, but is yet to make an appearance in the first-team.

His cameo during Man United’s pre-season match with Wigan Athletic led to Jose Mourinho singling out the youngster for praise, leading to his inclusion in the Portuguese’s 25-man pre-season tour squad.

The Congolese defender was seen working hard with the senior side earlier today.

As the likes of Marcus Rashford, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Jesse Lingard all muscled their way into the side last season, Tuanzebe would have felt disappointed at his inability to impose himself on the first team under Louis van Gaal.

His pedigree as a centre-back is clear to see: at just 18, he has a physique that eclipses most fully formed athletes. Tuanzebe’s game is generally hallmarked by immense athleticism and power, but his superb reading of the game – alongside excellent composure on the ball – is also worth noting.

What truly underpins the youngster’s approach, however, is unyielding desire to lead from the back. Make no mistake, this starlet has the makings of a future captain at Old Trafford.

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