Jesse Lingard: Axel Tuanzebe has what it takes to succeed at Manchester United

by Tanveer Arayan

Jesse Lingard believes that Axel Tuanzebe has what it takes to succeed at Manchester United after the youngster made his senior debut against Wigan Athletic.

The 19-year-old replaced the injured Timothy Fosu-Mensah at right back after 68 minutes and impressed the watching world with a composed, powerful performance.

Mourinho, speaking after the 4-0 insisted that both Tuanzebe and Joel Pereira – who also made his debut – deserved the chance to feature in the first team.

And Lingard – and academy product, just like Tuanzebe – has told MUTV that the teenager has the “physique and pace” to handle life at the top.

“Being introduced to the crowd at Old Trafford is a great feeling and it will be more motivation for them,” he said.

“They’re both homegrown players [Tuanzebe and Pereira], which is always a bonus.

“I thought Axel did very well. He’s got the physique and the pace to handle things at this level. He’s done very well under Nicky Butt for the reserves so he deserves his chance and he took it well.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic told Tuanzebe, anxiously waiting on the sideline, to “keep it simple” as he prepared to embrace football at the highest level for the first time.

And so he did, calmly shifting the ball around the pitch, always looking to find himself in space whilst maintaining a steady position. He quickly found his groove as United entered cruise control against a fatiguing Wigan side and even evinced a roar of appreciation from the Old Trafford faithful after rampaging back to recover possession. It was a solid debut, and supporters will hope to see Tuanzebe feature further as the season goes on.

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