Axel Tuanzebe to finally play first game since leaving Manchester United in the summer

A long-awaited debut for the 25-year-old.

Axel Tuanzebe to finally play first game since leaving Manchester United in the summer
Manchester United Training Session
Axel Tuanzebe left Manchester United at the end of last season (Picture: Getty Images)

Axel Tuanzebe will finally make his debut for Ipswich Town on Wednesday evening against Fulham in the Carabao Cup, after joining the club in September.

The 25-year-old left Manchester United at the end of last season, ending a connection with the Red Devils which began when he joined the club at just eight years old.

The center-back signed a one-year deal with Championship side Ipswich, with the club holding an option to extend the contract by a further 12 months.

Tuanzebe was dealing with a long-standing back injury when he arrived, which is partly why he only signed such a short-term deal, but he has now recovered and is ready to be involved.

The Tractor Boys take on Fulham on Wednesday and assistant manager Martyn Pert confirmed Tuanzebe will make his debut for the club.

‘Axel’s obviously been in since the early part of September,’ said Pert. ‘He has trained really well, built that foundation there that he can get some minutes in the game.’

Tuanzebe was close to a debut on Saturday when he was on the bench for the 3-2 win over Plymouth in the Championship, a victory which kept Ipswich second in the division after an excellent start to the season.

Ipswich are managed by former Manchester United coach Kieran McKenna, who worked with Tuanzebe at Old Trafford, and was delighted to bring him in when he arrived in September.

‘He’s settled in really well, really well,’ said McKenna last month. ‘He’s training with the group and he’s looked in really good condition.

‘We have a time period that we’re working towards with him. He’s still probably in what you’d say are the earlier stages of pre-season in terms of time on the grass.

Ipswich Town v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Carabao Cup Third Round
Kieran McKenna is doing an amazing job at Ipswich Town after leading them up from League One (Picture: Getty Images)

‘He trained for maybe a week or so before he arrived with us (on trial with Luton), but we want to be really methodical and sensible in terms of how we reintegrate him to the group and how we reintegrate him to matches because he’s had 18 months really of a (back) issue that we think now is in a really good place.

‘But we don’t want to rush him back into competitive action too soon and enhance the chances of there being a setback.

‘So we’ll do it in a careful and well-considered way to hopefully get the benefits of a fully-fit Axel Tuanzebe for the rest of this season and beyond, which would be a big benefit to us as a club.’

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