Joe Riley and Axel Tuanzebe join Manchester United’s first-team training

by Sam Peoples

Axel Tuanzebe and Joe Riley have both been training with Manchester United’s first-team in the build-up to our Europa League game against Fenerbahce on Thursday.

With Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia sidelined for at least six weeks, Jose Mourinho has filled that gap with two of Man United’s promising youngsters.

It comes at a great time for Riley after his performance against Tottenham Hotspurs’ U23s last week in which he scored an excellent goal. As for Tuanzebe, he’s been consistently impressive at centre-back for United’s reserves and thoroughly deserves his chance to show Mourinho what he can do.

I’d much prefer to see Tuanzebe given game time and pushed into first-team action than Marcos Rojo if I’m honest because Axel has all the qualities to become an excellent leader for United in the future. He’s captained our U18s, U21s and U23s so has been leading by example all the way through his young career to date – he’s a superb prospect and one I expected to break through ahead of Marcus Rashford to be honest before his surprise emergence.

With Riley, my judgement is still reserved as to whether I think he has the quality to make it but with another chance granted to him, this time under Mourinho, he’ll be eager to make the most of it having been frustrated at not going on United’s pre-season tour.

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