An ex-Old Trafford favourite was impressed by the returning defender’s display in Europe and delighted to see the Red Devils boss outfox Thomas Tuchel
Axel Tuanzebe may be the centre-back Manchester United needed and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves credit for his tactics against Paris Saint-Germain, says Dimitar Berbatov.
United built on a confidence-boosting 4-1 victory against Newcastle in the Premier League last weekend by beating PSG at Parc des Princes in the Champions League.
Goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford saw the Red Devils get off to the best possible start in Group H, with Solskjaer opting to start with a back three in the absence of club captain Harry Maguire.
Tuanzebe returned to the fold after a 10-month injury-enforced absence alongside Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw, with summer signing Alex Telles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka deployed slightly further up the pitch as wing-backs.
World Cup-winner Kylian Mbappe toiled in vain to find a way past Tuanzebe over the course of the 90 minutes, as the 22-year-old seized his opportunity to shine with both hands on Europe’s biggest stage.
His man of the match display drew praise from his manager and United legend Rio Ferdinand, who insisted the defender should now be considered undroppable ahead of Saturday’s crucial showdown with Chelsea.
Berbatov felt his old club made a mistake by failing to bring in a new central defender in the summer transfer window, but he now believes that Tuanzebe could be the man to solve their issues at the back.
The former United striker told Betfair: “I thought Alex Tuanzebe was excellent in defence, for his age he showed so much maturity and strength.
“He didn’t look intimidated or afraid of the huge names he had to defend, and a game like this will give him confidence.
“He has made the case for himself that he should play more. It’s only one game but he appears to have all the qualities of a great defender – speed and strength, along with a cool head.
“I said in pre-season that United needed a centre back, but maybe all along Alex has been there, and he is a strong candidate to be first choice.”