May 13, 2021

Man Utd

News

Axel Tuanzebe can regain Man United squad status vs Granada

3 min read

Tuanzebe’s turn

It is telling Axel Tuanzebe‘s only appearances since the morale-shattering defeat to Sheffield United were against Everton and Real Sociedad. In the former fixture, Tuanzebe clumsily conceded the free-kick Everton equalised from in the 96th minute and he was introduced at the interval of the second leg against Sociedad with United still 4-0 up on aggregate.

Solskjaer invited Everton onto United by introducing Tuanzebe and really should have started him against Sociedad, when Bruno Fernandes inexplicably captained United for a game he should have been watching from his sofa.

Tuanzebe endured the worst night in Istanbul since Midnight Express against Demba Ba, a chasing that has altered his fortunes this season. He has since been credited with an own goal at Leicester and has only started twice – against Watford in the FA Cup and in the Sheffield United loss. Tuanzebe then suffered vile racist abuse after the game.

At 23, Tuanzebe needs more playing time and, though unfortunate not to have appeared more often in the first months of the campaign, can have little argument about Solskjaer’s dependence on Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, their partnership much improved since they were left black and blue by Mbaye Diang at West Brom.


Video Loading

With Eric Bailly recovering from Covid-19 and only just back in England, Tuanzebe is a certainty to partner Lindelof. Bailly’s brittleness and contract wranglings could see Tuanzebe recognised as third-choice centre-back for the remainder of the run-in.

Rotation

There will be a minimum of three guaranteed changes from Sunday, with Maguire, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay all suspended. David de Gea can expect to start and, judging by the time Marcus Rashford took to take his seat at Tottenham, starting him would be inadvisable.

Given the aggregate advantage is a narrow 2-0, any more changes might be risky. Solskjaer almost came a cropper at Norwich in last season’s FA Cup quarter-final when he made an excessive eight changes and was not as lucky at the same stage of the competition at Leicester last month.

Rashford’s replacement?

Rashford seemingly cannot complete 90 minutes, so it is likely to be either Daniel James or Amad in the attack.

The selection process is heavily weighted in the favour of James, a starter in Spain last week, whereas Amad is yet to start a professional game in his fledgling career.

Two youngsters to debut?

Anthony Elanga was an unused substitute in Granada and centre-back Will Fish, 18, was promoted to first-team training this week. Maguire, Bailly, Phil Jones and Teden Mengi are all unavailable to United at centre half, so they need cover there.

Solskjaer has already given European debuts to Amad and Shola Shoretire and the exciting Swede Elanga, 18, could be next in line.

De Gea to captain United?

One way to try and defuse the De Gea situation would be to make him captain tonight in the absence of Maguire. Bruno Fernandes has led United in the Champions League and Europa League this season, but De Gea is the club’s longest first-team servant and the gesture would be appreciated by supporters who may not get a chance to bid farewell in person if De Gea leaves this summer.

Pep Guardiola gave Joe Hart the armband in his last City appearance.

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.