Axel Tuanzebe is unavailable for Friday night’s game against Tottenham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said.

Tuanzebe joins Phil Jones on the sidelines with injury. The nature of the injury was not disclosed.

Solskjaer told his press conference: “Phil Jones and Axel will miss this game, we will see how they are. Apart from that the rest of the squad is fit.”

Tuanzebe was pictured in training earlier this week and has suffered a fresh setback.

It is another blow in a stop-start season for the young English defender, who has had two separate spells out injured.

(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Defensive depth will be tested

Tuanzebe was not likely to start the game against Tottenham, but he would have been needed over the upcoming weeks.

If United went with three central defenders, as we have done in big away games this season, then Tuanzebe would have been our first option off the bench.

 

United’s options defensively are Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

Luke Shaw could be used as a centre-back too, with Brandon Williams shifting to left-back.

Losing Tuanzebe is a blow, and puts pressure on injury prone Bailly to stay fit.

Tuanzebe’s own lack of reliability himself is becoming a concern, and if he cannot get fit before the end of the season, young talent Teden Mengi could be utilised.

The 18-year-old has been called up to first team training over the last two weeks, and is a contender to now make the bench against Spurs.

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