By Andy Hyslop
- Axel was born in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo but is eligible to represent England
- Captained the Under-18s last season
- Winner of last season’s Player of the Year award for the Under-18s
Axel Tuanzebe is a robust centre-back who has already shown his leadership skills having captain the under-18s in his first full year at that level. He is now a regular feature for Warren Joyce’s under-21 side.
Axel has been at United since he eight years old. Born in Bunia, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but was raised in Rochdale and carries duel citizenship. Making him eligible to play for DR of Congo or England.
He is a robust centre-back who is comfortable in possession despite his obvious strong physique. As a schoolboy he made nine appearances for the under-18s in the 2013/14 season. Despite only making six starts, he was named as the captain on several occasions.
At the beginning of 2014/15 season Axel was named as the full-time captain of the under-18s and formed a strong centre-back partnership with RoShaun Williams. He made 29 appearances for the under-18s last season. Starting 28 of games.
His performances for under-18s saw him named as the Under-18s Player of the Year at the club’s end of season awards ceremony. The winner of the under-18s player of the year is awarded the Jimmy Murphy trophy. Previous winners of the award include Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
His performances for the under-18s also caught the eye of under-21s manager Warren Joyce, who used the defender as a substitute on three occasions.
Axel is still only 17, and eligible to play for the under-18s for another season. He has featured for under-18s, under-19s and under-21s this season already. His appearances for the under-19s have seen him playing in the UEFA Youth League.
The UEFA Youth League sees United’s under-19s playing against the same opposition as the first-team in the Champions League. He missed the first game against PSV but played in the 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg and 4-0 defeat to CSKA Moscow. He captained the side in the defeat to Moscow.
His consistent performances for all age groups and strong leadership qualities, have seen Axel Tuanzebe being touted as a potential first-team player of the future. Watch this space…