Harry Maguire adamant Man Utd lost another “leader” on transfer deadline day

Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe has been called a leader by both Harry Maguire and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, but that wasn’t enough to save his hopes of a long-term career at Old Trafford

Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe has been called a leader by both Harry Maguire and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, but that wasn’t enough to save his hopes of a long-term career at Old Trafford

Harry Maguire adamant Man Utd lost another "leader" on transfer deadline day

Harry Maguire has previously praised ex-Man United star Axel Tuanzebe

Manchester United have made several questionable transfer calls in recent years under an array of managers, but the case of Axel Tuanzebe remains a curious one.

Nowadays, the defender lines up for Championship outfit Ipswich Town, who hope to return to the top flight next term. However, the bulk of the 26-year-old’s career was spent on the books of the Red Devils, where his stock was seemingly always high right up until he was allowed to leave permanently.

It was never a question of ability with Tuanzebe, ask any youth coach at United and they’ll tell you he had that in abundance. But remaining fit was a different story entirely, with the defender often seeing any momentum he’d built up scuppered by another spell on the sidelines.

It was cruel to witness a promising talent who had been tipped for such big things spend so much time out of action. Back in 2015, Tuanzebe joined the likes of Marcus Rashford, Danny Welbeck and Ryan Giggs by winning the prestigious Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award at United, in the eyes of many he was the next big thing.

Former club captain Harry Maguire certainly seemed to agree. Speaking in 2021 before Tuanzebe’s eventual exit, the England international was glowing in his assessment of the current Ipswich ace.

“We have a lot of leaders in the dressing room, a lot of senior pros,” Maguire explained. “And you don’t have to be a senior pro to be a leader. Axel is a leader, in the ways that he works and speaks in the dressing room. And he’s only a young boy, he’s still learning his trade. I’m sure he’ll go on to have an unbelievable career.”

Maguire wasn’t the only one to express such a sentiment regarding Tuanzebe, ex-United boss and club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer heaped praise on the defender after making him the club’s youngest captain in a Carabao Cup tie in 2019.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Were United wrong to let Tuanzebe leave on deadline day last year? Comment below

Axel Tuanzebe now lines up for Ipswich after 17 years on the books at Man United

“Axel is a captain in the making, he’s a leader. Why not give it to young kids?” Solskjaer asked talkSPORT of the United captaincy. “How does he handle it? He was fine, he enjoyed it. It’s just a way of telling him that we trust him.”

The United academy graduate joined Stoke City on deadline day of the January transfer window last year but struggled to make much of an impact at the bet365 Stadium during his six-month loan spell.

Tuanzebe then signed for the Tractor Boys on a 12-month deal last summer following the expiration of his United contract. He has found first-team football hard to come by at Portman Road, with just six league appearances to his name so far this season.

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