He had explained the reason why he made the decision to give Tuanzebe captain’s armband over Paul Pogba.

Ole Gunnar-Solskjaer made several changes in Manchester United’s teams on Wednesday night in their narrow Carabao Cup win on penalties over Rochdale but the most talking point is that why did he decide to proffered Tuanzebe captain’s armband ahead of Paul Pogba.

Despite the return of the Frenchman back to the first team with additional veteran stars such as Sergio Romero, Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard all present at the pitch, young Axel Tuanzebe was given yes to lead out the team.

Acclaimed from Rochdale, the defender spent last season on loan with the newly-promoted club Aston Villa – has now captained the Red Devils in every age group, and Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted he could be carrying the armband for several years to come.

The United manager explained to TalkSport after the match: “Axel is a captain in the making, he’s a leader – why not give to young kids?

“We know we can give it to Sergio 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.’ Tuanzebe’s debut as Manchester United captain nearly ended in tragedy, with United demanding penalties to progress.

Mason Greenwood had put United ahead before 16-year-old Luke Matheson provided an equaliser with just above 10 minutes of regular stoppage time outlasting. Summer signing Daniel James secured the match with his winning spot-kick for United.

The 21-year-old defender has acknowledged his astonishment at being passed the armband, with the likes of World Cup winner Pogba in the same starting XI, but Solskjaer wanted to mix things up.

He said: “Dreams do come true. I had goosebumps as I was walking out. 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’.”

United seem convinced of the necessity to let Solskjaer perform a gradual rebuild with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward this week emphasising he had the board’s ongoing support.

Following a summer which Pogba strived for a move away from the Old Trafford, the manager completely believes that in Tuanzebe, Mason Greenwood and a handful of academy stars he has the solid construction of a team competent of once again challenging for trophies.

However, Solskjaer indicated he at least aspires to keep confidence with his young players for the next round against Chelsea despite an unimpressive composite performance against Rochdale on Wednesday.

“I had my talk with the boys (at half time) and I am not going to say too much about what we spoke about but the main thing is we are through,” he said.

“Some will go back and think ‘yes he might be right and we have to do this better’. But if you are through to the next round you are happy.

“It’s a difficult draw (against Chelsea) but it’s a game that these boys will learn from. They will play one of the top teams in the country.”


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