Axel Tuanzebe has been labelled a future Manchester United captain after footage of his cool, calm and collected post-match interview emerged following the club's Champions League victory on Tuesday night.
The 22-year-old centre-back kept Paris Saint-Germain's talented forward line quiet for large spells of the Group H clash, using his pace and athleticism to outmuscle Kylian Mbappe on numerous occasions.
But despite ten months away from first-team action, he gave a great account of himself, winning 100% of his aerial duels among other impressive stats.
Axel Tuanzebe just played his first game for Manchester United since December 2019...- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 20, 2020
100% aerial duels won
92% pass accuracy
A :top: display :fire: pic.twitter.com/z4CaRgGsam
It wasn't just Tuanzebe's performance on the pitch that grabbed people's attention. After the full-time whistle, the centre-back gave an incredibly composed and mature post-match interview in front of the cameras.
"For us, we came here to win," he said.
"We are in this competition to compete. We showed PSG respect but ultimately, we are the bigger team and we want to dominate and get the three points."
Tuanzebe was later asked about coming up against Neymar, Di Maria and Mbappe after his last performance against Colchester. His answer was mature and inspiring.
People have underestimated Tuanzebe's leadership potential. He's not just another shy, modest kid from the #MUFC academy.- Busby (@Busby_UTD) October 20, 2020
Ole didn't make him captain vs Rochdale last year for a laugh :fire::fire::fire: pic.twitter.com/Z4KhyqBDdJ
"We show PSG respect, but ultimately we're the bigger team, and we want to dominate." Captain material.- Man United & Milano (@UnitedMilano) October 21, 2020
They should use his voice in the dressing room, it speaks leadership in itself, cool calm and ice Cold:skull:- #Black_Lives_Matter (@SerojaneLennox) October 21, 2020
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted with Tuanzebe's contribution against PSG.
"Axel did fantastic," said Solskjaer. "He has been out for 10 months so to put a performance up like this against Neymar and Mbappe, he almost surprised us as well.
"He is a tremendous defender, a great leader. We have known for years he is going to be a top player for us. To see the way he was it was unbelievable. Absolutely spot-on."
David de Gea also praised the young centre-back. "Unbelievable. He did really, really well. He has been in difficult moments but now he has showed he is capable of playing in big games."
One thing is for certain. Tuanzebe has a bright future ahead of him if he avoids any serious injury setbacks in the future.
Thoughts on his performance against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night? Is he a future United captain?
Let us know in the comments.
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