Danny Mills claims that Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe is only playing in the first-team through Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s “desperation” at the moment.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Manchester City and England full-back says that while he always likes to see youth being given a chance, the only reason the 21-year-old is getting any game time is because of a lack of alternative options.
Tuanzebe, who spent last season on loan at Aston Villa in the Championship, was handed his first Premier League start of the season against Arsenal, having also started in the League Cup and Europa League for the Red Devils.
With the Red Devils enduring their worst league start for 30 years, Mills says that the likes of Tuanzebe, Mason Greenwood and Scott McTominay playing is out of necessity rather than choice and that it might not help their development.
Mills told Football Insider: “It’s almost out of desperation. It’s not really though planning, because they’re struggling for form, they’re struggling for confidence, whatever it is at the moment.
“Harry Maguire plays, Wan Bissaka is going to play, if Luke Shaw’s not fit they’re still having to play Ashley young as a fill in at left-back.
“It’s great, you want to see as many young players given an opportunity as possible but you don’t want to see it out of desperation when there’s no other option. You want to see these players given a chance, dip in, dip out to build their confidence in a decent side.
“It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen at Manchester United.”
Tuanzebe, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has played 12 times for the first-team at Old Trafford, coming through the youth ranks in the north west.
He also featured 35 times during his loan spell at Villa, helping Dean Smith’s men secure promotion to the top flight via the play-offs.