Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has explained why Axel Tuanzebe is the latest player on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ranks that is undroppable after his Champions League display against PSG.
The 22-year-old defender last featured for Man United against Colchester in 2019 due to injury but marked is return with a great performance against the Parisians.
The absences of injured defenders Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire handed Tuanzebe a valuable opportunity to remind his fans about his quality and he did not fail to impress at Paris.
Axel Tuanzebe stopped the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar from playing at their best and Rio Ferdinand believes the Man United academy graduate’s performance in France would make him undroppable under Solskjaer.
Asked if Tuanzebe has made himself undroppable after a display of such quality, Ferdinand told BT Sport: ‘Yes. Ole has just said it’s two of the best two strikers in the world, he snuffed out danger many a time today.
‘You have to reward performances like that. He’s had a hard time with injuries – first game in 10 months – to come in and play like that, from in out of the cold, you deserve to be rewarded.
‘But Ole is the man to make that decision.’
He continued: ‘This is where Man United have struggled in the last six to 12 months, in them areas chasing players down the channels, they can’t stay with them and then obviously that opens up the back four or back three. But he was smelling danger.’
Fellow pundit Owen Hargreaves couldn’t agree more with Ferdinand and believes Tuanzebe’s display will make him difficult to displace from the team in the coming weeks.
‘Good luck getting this guy out of the team,’ said Hargreaves. ‘This guy… I love him.
‘He’s a good athlete, he makes good decisions, physically he’s got a good presence, he wasn’t fazed by Mbappe or Neymar. I think he grew into the occasion.
‘We saw a couple of years ago Scott McTominay came here and put in a top performance. This young man… looks, he’s not getting out of the side.’
Manchester United will welcome Chelsea, who played out a goalless draw against Sevilla at Stamford Bridge, at Old Trafford this weekend.
Harry Maguire will be fit for the clash, as claimed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but it is yet to be seen if the Norwegian will rely on Tuanzebe.