Axel Tuanzebe is brimming with confidence after Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said he only needed to watch him for “10 minutes” to see his quality.
Tuanzebe came on for the last 10 minutes of United’s 2-0 friendly win over Wigan and was named in the club’s squad for their pre-season tour of China shortly after.
The 18-year-old defender is an imposing figure and highly rated by the club’s coaching staff, having won the youth player of the year award in 2014-15, and he said he is hoping to make his mark on the senior team, particularly after Mourinho’s comments.
“To have your own manager back you so strongly is always a positive sign,” Tuanzebe told MUTV.
“Now I just have to keep on impressing him and striving towards the goals I have.
“This is my opportunity. Last year I was out a bit with injury and now I can start fresh and really give it a good go to try and sneak into the first team.”
The teenager said he had been impressed with Mourinho’s methods thus far and was looking forward to playing in more high-profile games against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City.
“The sessions have been demanding,” Tuanzebe said.
“I think it’s better like that because you can put the effort in and the more you put in the more that comes out of it.
“I think both are good teams, so it won’t be just like a normal friendly. It will be a good test to see where we’re at as a team. Hopefully we win both games and show the fans we are ready for the season and the major competitions.”