Giggs says Man Utd pondered playing defender in midfield

Date published: Thursday 22nd October 2020 3:30

Axel Tuanzebe TEAMtalk

Ryan Giggs has revealed that Manchester Unitd pondered playing Axel Tuanzebe in midfield when Louis van Gaal was in charge at Old Trafford.

Tuanzebe, 22, made his first United start this year in the win over Paris Saint-Germain this week.

It was a makeshift defence for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Alex Telles also making his debut.

The injuries to Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly forced Solskjaer to use Tuanzebe to play in a back three.

“We’ve had a few injuries so Axel is back in for the first time in a long, long time and Alex makes his debut and what a stage to do it on,” said Solskjaer on Tuesday night.

Tuanzebe was named man of the match and Giggs believes the player has got all the attributes to make it at the top level.

Giggs told Webby & O’Neill’s YouTube channel: “First of all, he’s a really good lad with a good mentality. All Axel’s got to do now is stay fit and play games because he’s got all of the attributes. He can handle the ball, he can even play in midfield.”

The Wales boss also says United thought about a midfield role for the academy graduate whilst he was working alongside Louis van Gaal in 2015: “We thought about playing him in midfield when he was fit, under Louis. He can read the game well, he’s quick – I think he showed that (against PSG).




“He’s got to play games, and when he plays games, his confidence will grow because he’s got all of the attributes to be a Manchester United centre-half.

“Now, like I say, he’s got to bang out those games and once he does that, it’s up to him to say to Ole, ‘I’m doing so well, you can’t leave me out of the team.

“That consistency, he’s got to produce performances like that over and over again. I’m sure if he stays fit, then he will be a regular in the first-team.”

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Cavani can have big impact

Edinson Cavani; Paul Pogba TEAMtalk

Meanwhile, Giggs has hailed the capture of Edinson Cavani and believes the experienced No.9 is perfect for the club.

Giggs said: “I faced Cavani in my second game for Wales and he was better than Luis Suarez in the game. I didn’t think he was that good.

“He was a real handful. He hasn’t played for a long time so he might be a little bit rusty.

“But what you’re getting; you’re getting a centre forward which I think a lot of fans have been crying out for.

“A proper centre forward who can lead the line. We have Marcus [Rashford], Martial who is half a winger, half a centre-forward. Cavani is a forward, a target man.

“He’s got the experience. I’m hoping, just like Bruno has, he will make the players around him even better.”

READ MORE: Ferdinand names Man Utd star who is now first choice after PSG win

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