Axel Tuanzebe says he’s ready to make an impact in Manchester United’s first team after an impressive display in their 1-0 victory over Inter in pre-season.
The 21-year-old impressed at Aston Villa in the Championship last term as the Birmingham club were promoted to the Premier League and is confident he can make his mark at Old Trafford even as rumours of a move for Harry Maguire continue to swirl.
He thinks that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s commitment to youth and his growth while on-loan in the Midlands will serve him well as he looks to play regular first-team football in England’s top-flight.
"The manager puts faith in young players and I’m ready to play,” Tuanzebe told The National in Singapore after the game.
"I got another 60 [minutes] under my belt and I’m going to keep going. My season last year showed that I am a much better player than a year ago. Having a good coach to support me as a player and a person helped.
"I’m more mature, my decision making is better, my physicality, building myself in the game and being a senior player.
"I’m ready to play for Manchester United – definitely."
His manager seemed to echo Tuanzebe’s sentiment, describing him as the future of the club.
"Today was a test, we know he can play at [Championship] level, and that’s why he didn’t play against Leeds," the United boss said.
"He showed he is very capable at this level. Axel is going to be the future of this club."
Tuanzebe lined up alongside United new boy Aaron Wan-Bissaka in Saturday’s game and has been impressed with the former Crystal Palace man.
Wan-Bissaka joined United in a £50 million ($63m) move in June, and Tuanzebe revealed he has already received a nickname from his new team-mates.
"You can see why we paid so much money for him," Tuanzebe continued.
"He’s a great defender with great feet. He’s been solid, he’s been made welcome. He’s quiet but we’ll get him out of his shell.
"We call him ‘The Spider’ because nobody can get past him."