Football scouting blog
Name: Axel Tuanzebe Age: 18 years old (14 November 1997)
Nationality: English/DR Congo Club: Manchester United
League: Height: 187 cm, 6”1 Position: CB/RBEmbed from Getty Images
Axel Tuanzebe is a young defender who is currently tipped to be next Manchester United debutant following on from Cameron Borthwick-Jackson. He is currently the club’s U18s player of the year and is an exciting prospect for the future. A Congolese born player who is highly regarded by his coaches and has recently received extra attention from the manager as well as he included him in the match day squad for Crystal Palace game. An experience, the manager felt was important for his development and eventual next step into the first team, he said;
“Axel Tuanzebe was included in the matchday squad for our trip to Crystal Palace, and this is important in the development of the youth players. Axel stayed on the bench but the experience of travelling with the team, training and being part of the team meetings is an important part of the learning curve that he and other young players will take as they progress.”
An athletic, dogged and determined defender who is tireless in defensive duties throughout a game which doesn’t go unnoticed by his coaches. A tall defender with good strength for such a young player and has decent pace for center back. Very long strides when he runs and also has a good leap and can out-jump a majority of his peers. His acceleration could be better especially when it comes to turning and chasing back, its once he is in full strides do you see his speed.
Technically, he is not the strongest. His first touch is not all that great and its fairly inconsistent. He is capable of dribbling the ball through the middle of the back and capable of getting by opposition players. However, although he has a terrific leap, his heading technique is pretty average and he doesn’t dominate the aerial balls as often as he should, His tackling also is very inconsistent, he sometimes gets into situations where he has marked the opposition player into a corner and tries to tackle; and then he completely misses the ball and gives the opposition chance to knock it past him which leads him to using his strength to stop to the player from getting round him. A skill he can get away with against youth oppositions but not at first team level.
Tactically, he is a mixture of aggression and elegance. His positioning sense is terrific and can usually anticipate where the ball is going to end up which leads him into getting a quite fair share of blocks. He is also very composed on the ball and doesn’t panic when under pressure from the opposition. Quite vocal and can command a back four quite well which has seen him being made captain of Manchester United’s U18s team, last season. He is patient in his position and can do both roles whether it’s covering or being the front foot defender. However, he does sometimes try to run with ball into the final third often almost like a box to box midfielder which is not particular a great trait for defender to develop. Not sure whether its a deliberate tactic by the Manchester United coaches because Fosu-Mensah is also guilty of the same flaw. This does sometimes back fire and leave players covering for him when he does lose the ball high up the field which at the highest level would be punished for by the opposition.
Potential: (International Class)
Axel Tuanzebe is a terrific talent and very much capable of playing football at international level, not sure, where he which nation he will most likely end up representing whether its Congo or England. However, he is very capable of playing for either in the future. And, he does also have the determination and aggression needed in the English game and could have a good career in the premier league in the future.