Axel Tuanzebe simply has to be playing games, with Ryan Giggs hinting that perhaps he should be deployed in midfield…
For anyone who watched the game on Tuesday, you can only be left impressed at the colossal performance Axel Tuanzebe put in. We’re talking about someone who single-handedly kept both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe quiet. I can guarantee, that wasn’t an easy task.
It was something which was made all-the-more impressive due to the fact that it was Tuanzebe’s first start in ten months. To come back and do that at the highest level tells you everything you need to know about the man.
According to Reds legend Ryan Giggs, Tuanzebe simply has to be playing games. So-much-so that he has hinted at a positional switch for the 22-year-old… Giggsy does make it clear that in the long-term, Tuanzebe should be seen as a centre-half, which does make sense.
Check out what Giggsy had to say about Axel Tuanzebe potentially playing in midfield here:
“First of all, he’s a really good lad with a good mentality. All Axel’s got to do now is stay fit, play games because he’s got all of the attributes. He can handle the ball, he can even play in midfield.” Giggs told the Webby & O’Neill YouTube channel.
“We thought about playing him in midfield when he was fit, under Louis. He can read the game well, he’s quick – I think he showed that yesterday (against PSG).”
Giggsy then went on to say that Tuanzebe simply has to be getting regular minutes under his belt…
“He’s got to play games, and when he plays games, his confidence will grow, because he’s got all of the attributes to be a Manchester United centre-half.
“Now, like I say, he’s got to bang out those games and once he does that, it’s up to him to say to Ole, ‘Leave me out the team. I’m doing so well, you can’t leave me out of the team.
“That consistency, he’s got to produce performances like that over and over again. I’m sure if he stays fit, then he will be a regular in the first-team.”
My first thought is that this is perhaps why United refused to buy a centre-half over the summer. It was far too easy to forget about Tuanzebe due to him being missing for so long.
After that display against PSG, I’m not sure you can leave him out. Sure, it’ll take him time to get fully up to speed and United need to man-manage him very carefully over the next few months. However, in the long-term, he certainly feels like an answer to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defensive issues.
Whether that means a temporary switch to that holding-midfield role to get minutes under the belt in the short-term, who knows? One thing is for certain, Tuanzebe has the potential to make himself an undroppable part of this United line-up.
Hopefully, Tuanzebe can now keep himself off the treatment table and start to build up those confidence levels again. We saw what he can offer in Paris on Tuesday. I’d like to think that’s a sign of what’s to come.
Welcome back, Axel!