Mourinho hints at Tuanzebe involvement due to Man United’s defensive crisis

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has hinted that young defender Axel Tuanzebe could play a key role for the Red Devils from now until the end of the season.

Man United currently have an injury crisis at centre-back, with Marcos Rojo joining Phil Jones and Chris Smalling on the sidelines during the club’s busiest period of the 2016-17 campaign.

Tuanzebe, 19, is yet to make his full debut for the Red Devils, although the highly-rated centre-back made his first-team bow as a substitute against Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup earlier this season.

The teenager had been due to represent England in the Under-20 World Cup in Korea next month, but Mourinho has revealed that he is considering pulling Tuanzebe out of the competition as he is needed at Old Trafford.

He told Man United’s official website:

“Now we need absolutely everyone and I don’t have to think about Axel Tuanzebe going to the Under-20 World Cup in Korea because maybe Axel has to come now. We need everybody.”

Daley Blind played at centre-back after replacing the injured Rojo against Anderlecht, although it is thought that Mourinho is not considering the Netherlands international as a central defender for the remainder of the season.

As a result, Eric Bailly is Man United’s only fit senior centre-back entering the final weeks of the campaign.