Solskjaer Reveals Why He Chose Tuanzebe As Captain Over Pogba And Romero

Manchester United's Josh Harrop celebrates scoring their first goal with Axel Tuanzebe.

Reuters / Andrew Yates

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed why he named Axel Tuanzebe the captain against Rochdale.

Manchester United had to dig out a difficult win against League One side Rochdale in the League Cup, as they won 5-3 on penalties after the game remained tied at 1-1 in normal regulation time.

While it was a difficult day at the office for the Red Devils, the night was most definitely one to remember for United centre-back Axel Tuanzebe, who was named the captain before facing his hometown club.

Now, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained why he decided to hand the arm-band to the 21-year-old, despite senior players like Paul Pogba and Sergio Romero present in the lineup.


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“Axel is a captain in the making,” Solskjaer told TalkSport (via M.E.N.). “He’s a leader. Why not give to young kids?

“We know we can give it to Sergio [Romero] and we can give it to Paul, that’s no problem and they’ve been captains before. But it was Axel today and how does he handle it? He was absolutely fine, he enjoyed it. It’s just a way of telling him that we trust him.”


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Tuanzebe, on the other hand, revealed how the decision even took him by surprise, while also shedding light on the overall experience.

“Dreams do come true. I had goosebumps as I was walking out,” said the Englishman. “It is something I have been working on for a long time and the moment finally came. I am just grateful to the manager and grateful to the club and the players I am playing with for sharing this moment with me.

“It was a nice surprise. I was literally getting ready to stretch and loosen up and Mike Phelan just came to me and said ‘are you ready to go and see the referee?’ I said ‘what do you mean?’ and he said, ‘Come on you are captain’. So I said ‘alright, let’s get it’.”