Axel Tuanzebe has revealed it was assistant manager Mike Whelan that told him he was to be Manchester United captain against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup.
Phelan told Tuanzebe to go and carry out his captain duties by going to see the referee, which is when the young defender realised he would be wearing the armband.
“It was a nice surprise,” Tuanzebe said as quoted by the Express.
“I was literally getting ready to stretch and loosen up and Mike Phelan just came to me and said ‘are you ready to go and see the referee.
“I said ‘what do you mean?’ and he said, ‘Come on you are captain’. So I said ‘alright, let’s get it.”
Tuanzebe was selected ahead of more senior players such as Paul Pogba and Sergio Romero to captain the Reds, showing Solskjaer clearly sees the centre-back as a potential leader at the club.
Despite it being another underwhelming effort for the Reds against League One opposition, the academy graduate made one of the most encouraging performances on the night.
The 21-year-old looked assured on the ball and never looked threatened in defence.
Speaking about leading out United last night, Tuanzebe said:
“Dreams do come true.
“I had goosebumps as I was walking out.
“It is something I have been working on for a long time and the moment finally came true.
“I am just grateful to the manager and grateful to the club and the players I am playing with for sharing this moment with me.”
The Reds face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the next round of the Carabao Cup, where Tuanzebe will look to put in another dominant performance, albeit against much tougher opposition.
🇾🇪Axel Tuanzebe vs. Rochdale:
• 72/73 accurate passes
• 2 chances created
• 3/5 aerial duels won
• 1/1 tackles won
Oh captain, my captain. pic.twitter.com/UwFOdQuh3X
— ً (@utdrobbo) September 26, 2019