Manchester United teenager Axel Tuanzebe is determined not to let Jose Mourinho’s praise go to his head as he attempts to show his manager that he can make the step up to the first team.
The centre-back is regarded as one of the Red Devils’ brightest prospects and this week Mourinho hinted that the 19-year-old is closing in on a competitive United debut.
Tuanzebe was elated with Mourinho’s words of encouragement and believes he can only continue to improve by training with the stars in United’s first-team squad.
“Mourinho’s praise? There is no better feeling,” Tuanzebe told MUTV.
“But I cannot let it go to my head and relax now. I have got to keep my head down and keep proving to him why he should have faith in me. I have got to keep pushing every day and showing why I should be in the team and why I am here at the club.
“It has definitely been good training with superstars and I can learn a lot from these players every day. I am always willing to learn and try my best. It does not depend on the level, I could be with the Under-23s or the first team, I always try my best to improve as a player.”
Tuanzebe added that seeing players such as Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard make the step up to the first team gives him added confidence that he can follow suit.
“It is a massive boost to see the likes of Marcus [Rashford] and Jesse [Lingard] coming right from the bottom and working all the way up through the [youth] system,” he said.
“It is always a great thing to see. It gives everyone a boost – if they can do it, why not me?
“Massive credit to the club for actually having the belief the youngsters can play for the first team. I do not think that happens at every other club and it is a real positive for all the players working here.”
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