Dimitar Berbatov says Axel Tuanzebe’s dominant display in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night has made him a strong candidate to be the club’s first choice centre-back.
Marcus Rashford rifled in a late winner for the Red Devils, but it was Tuanzebe who caught the eye in defence.
The 22-year-old returned from a 10-month lay-off with injury and managed to keep PSG’s superstars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar quiet on their own turf.
Former United striker Berbatov feels the defender has made a solid case to earn a regular starting berth at Old Trafford.
‘I thought Alex Tuanzebe was excellent in defence, for his age he showed so much maturity and strength,’ Berbatov told Betfair.
‘He didn’t look intimidated or afraid of the huge names he had to defend, and a game like this will give him confidence. He has made the case for himself that he should play more.
‘It’s only one game but he appears to have all the qualities of a great defender – speed and strength, along with a cool head.
‘I said in pre-season that United needed a centre back, but maybe all along Alex has been there, and he is a strong candidate to be first choice.’
‘It was a tactical battle in Paris and Ole came out on top,’ the Bulgarian added. ‘The media criticised Ole when results were bad, so they should give him credit when things are going well.
‘The players, of course, play a huge role, but Ole has set them up and got them ready. He prepared them mentally and physically, and helped them to break down PSG man by man. They did the job perfectly, and got the result they deserved.
‘At the same time, United shouldn’t get head of themselves. Don’t think about big targets, just take every game as it comes. If Ole keeps them steady, rotates the team correctly, and they concentrate, they can win more games.
‘Edinson Cavani will be a big addition when he is ready also. Everyone has been spot on in the last couple of games and this must continue.’