#under23s: Tuanzebe makes first start, McTominay given debut

Axel Tuanzebe did himself proud with a fine performance against Arsenal in the Premier League, his first full start for Manchester United having made his debut as a substitute in the FA Cup earlier this season.

The 19-year-old, who grew up in Rochdale, migrating from DR Congo as a kid, repaid the faith shown by José Mourinho to play him at right-back. Tuanzebe is a centre-back, and handled playing in an unnatural position, one he hasn’t played for the under-23s all season, superbly.

Axel Tuanzebe and Marcus Rashford for Manchester United's youth sides.
Tuanzebe (right) with Man United’s under-10s, playing in the same side as Marcus Rashford (left).

He was strong, sending Alexis Sanchez to the floor at one point. Excellent positionally, Tuanzebe showed the composure on the ball that has earned him plaudits at youth level and seen him control games frequently from defence for the under-23s, who he captains.

Meanwhile, Scott McTominay became the 225th academy graduate to play for Manchester United, meaning that since 1939, more than half of the players to feature for the club have come from the youth system.

Scott McTominay (front row, far right) with Man United’s youth sides. Also in this picture are Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (top row, fourth from left), Demetri Mitchell (front row, second from right), Devonte Redmond (top row, second from left).

He had little time on the pitch, but had a fierce drive on the half-volley saved.