By Coral Barry
Manchester United starlets Axel Tuanzebe, Charlie Scott and Marcus Rashford have been teammates for almost a decade.
The trio, all aged 18, first played together in the under-11’s team and have been storming up the United ranks ever since.
Striker Rashford was named in United’s squad for the second consecutive Premier League match when they faced Leicester at the weekend while centre-back Tuanzebe was as unused substitute during United’s goalless draw with Crystal Palace last month.
In an interview with the official United website, Tuanzebe highlighted the home-grown talent at youth level.
“I was eight and started playing for the Under-11s,” he explained. “There are three of us still here from that Under-11s team [Charlie Scott and Marcus Rashford are the others].
“From a young age, I could see everyone was complimenting me on my talent and I was brought to a nearby local team. I started playing for them regularly every Saturday for two years before I joined Manchester United.”
Defender Scott’s United age-group appearances have been restricted due to injury, but if the trio do eventually make it to the first-team they will evoke memories of the famous class of ’92.
United legends David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs all played together at academy level before graduating to the senior team and becoming the bedrock of Sir Alex Ferguson’s serial-winning side.
Rashford is a Manchester native while Scott was born in Stoke and Tuanzebe moved to Rochdale when he was four from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Although the apprenticeship system is long gone at United, as is the era of youth teamers performing odd jobs around the club such as polishing boots, the club ethos remains.
“It is embedded in you from day one to always be a humble person and never take anything for granted,” Tuanzebe said. “You must appreciate everything you have got because, when you go out and see other clubs in the lower leagues, you realise things are not as fortunate compared to what we have here.