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Former Man Utd player switches international allegiance from England to DR Congo

Former Man Utd player switches international allegiance from England to DR Congo

He played for England's U19, U20 and U21 sides earlier in his career.

England head into Euro 2024 as one of the pre-tournament favourites, with Gareth Southgate's squad packed full of talent.

The Three Lions have several Ballon d'Or contenders in their ranks, including Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden – all in excellent form for their respective clubs.

England take on Brazil in a friendly on Saturday night and unusually head into the match against the five-time World Cup winners as favourites to win.

The game could see Kobbie Mainoo make his senior debut for England, after he received a shock call-up to the squad earlier this week.

Mainoo was originally included in England's U21 squad after being left out of the senior group by Southgate.

However, the Three Lions boss later changed his mind and included Mainoo, who could now face Brazil at Wembley.

Mainoo is still eligible to represent Ghana, the country of parents' birth in international football, and Southgate's decision to call up the midfielder could be partly based on the need to secure his long-term future for the national side.

Such is the quality and depth of talent in the current England squad, several former youth players have declared their international allegiance to other countries in recent years.

Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey opted to play for Ghana in 2022 with several names ahead of him at right-back for England.

Meanwhile, last year former Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun chose to play for the United States instead of England.

Now, another former England U21 international has declared his allegiance to another country.

Former Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe, who played for England U19, U20 and U21 sides, has switched his allegiance to Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Fabrizio Romano shared an image of Ipswich Town defender Tuanzebe posing with a DR Congo shirt to X, confirming the switch.

The defender's only appearance for England’s U21 side came against Ukraine in 2017.

He was called up to a preliminary DR Congo squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, but did not take part in the tournament.

He could, however, make his debut for the country of his birth when they face Senegal in a World Cup qualifier in June.

A United academy graduate, Tuanzebe made his senior debut for the club in 2017 and made 37 appearances for the club before eventually leaving to join Ipswich in 2023.

He has since made 14 appearances for the Championship side, playing under former United coach Kieran McKenna.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: England, Euro 2024, Gareth Southgate, Kobbie Mainoo, Axel Tuanzebe