Napoli boss praises Axel Tuanzebe as he makes Napoli debut

Axel Tuanzebe made a quick debut for Napoli after his move to the Italian side was finalised on Saturday.

The Manchester United defender was welcomed by his teammates after being introduced to them just one day ahead of making his bow.

Faouzi Ghoulam told TMW: “We have already talked to him. Fortunately he also speaks French, so we can help him. He’s a good boy and he will give us a great hand.”

Teammate Amir Rrahmani added via TMW ahead of the game: “Only yesterday he trained with us, he’s a strong defender. We need him too as we need everyone.”

Photo by SSC NAPOLI/SSC NAPOLI via Getty Images

Up and running

Tuanzebe came off the bench to help Napoli close out a 1-0 home victory over Sampdoria on Sunday night.

The United loanee was brought on in the 80th minute to replace Ghoulam at left-back.

It was as easy a task as he could have asked for, required to make just four touches as Napoli saw out the game comfortably.

Manager Luciano Spalletti spoke well of Tuanzebe’s brief debut after the win, and said he will give him time to adjust to Italian football.

Spalletti told TMW: “Axel is a physical player, who can go and mark a player. He is a high-level footballer, then he will have to know things and our league which is not easy for anyone.

“However, he has some qualities and at this moment here he can be a very comfortable alternative, he plays often and every now and then must be replaced.”

It is up to Tuanzebe to force his way into the line-up, and that won’t be easy, with Spalletti going onto describe Napoli’s central defensive pairing on the night as ‘exceptional’, and that was with Kalidou Koulibaly out injured.

Napoli are pushing for a Champions League spot, currently sitting in third place in the table.

They also have a Europa League tie against Barcelona to look forward to, and Tuanzebe will be keen to work his way into the team so he can feature there.

This loan is a good opportunity for him and it is positive to see him leaving his comfort zone to try a new experience to try and progress his career.

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