CSpq5VUUcAERuohAxel Tuanzebe has been named in Manchester United’s first team today and has been given the number 38 shirt. This is the first time he has been included in the senior squad. But who is he?

Tuanzebe is just 17-years-old and is a very highly rated defender in United’s youth set up. As the captain for the U-18s last season, he was named Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year. He played in every game for the U-18s, apart from the three occasions when he asked to play for the U-21s.

Paul McGuinness, the U-18 coach, spoke very highly of Tuanzebe at the end of last season, talking about his great leadership qualities.

“It was the first time I’d picked a first-year scholar as captain,” revealed McGuinness. “I don’t think that has happened since Gary Neville was youth-team skipper. The reason I did it was because has outstanding potential as a leader. I thought I’d give him as much practice as he could get. That’s what we’ve done this year and he’s not let us down.”

Axel grew up in Rochdale but was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He’s been in United’s Academy set-up since he was eight-years-old.

He’s a robust, solid, physical player, and he’s also got a bit of pace about him. He is more than comfortable in possession of the ball and is a Rio Ferdinand style defender.

“It’s been a long road and a lot of players have come and gone,” Tuanzebe said when reflecting on his time at the club. “I think there are four players from my Under-11s team who are still here now and it’s been a great experience. I enjoy being captain, most definitely, because you get to boss the other players around!”

Tuanzebe has been playing for Warren Joyce with the U-21s this season, but has high hopes for what he can achieve in the future.