Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains Paul Pogba captaincy snub after giving Axel Tuanzebe armband in Manchester United’s Carabao Cup win

26 Sep

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed young Englishman Axel Tuanzebe as ‘a captain in the making’ after picking him to wear the armband over Paul Pogba in the Carabap Cup.

Tuanzebe led out the Red Devils at Old Trafford in Wednesday night’s third round clash against Rochdale, which the hosts won in a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw.

Questions were asked why 21-year-old defender Tuanzebe – who has captained the Red Devils at every age level – was named skipper despite a more experienced player in World Cup winner Pogba, who has worn the armband regularly over the last 12 months, also starting the game.

Paul Pogba was one of the most experienced players on the pitch for Manchester United on Wednesday night
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But Solskjaer told talkSPORT following the game that he sees no problem giving one of his youngsters a chance to prove their leadership at the top level.

Speaking to Manchester correspondent Dom McGuinness, the boss said: “Axel is a captain in the making, he’s a leader – why not give to young kids?

“We know we can give it to Sergio [Romero] and we can give it to Paul, that’s no problem and they’ve been captains before.

“But it was Axel today and how does he handle it? He was absolutely fine, he enjoyed it.

“It’s just a way of telling him that we trust him.”

There was plenty of young talent on show at Old Trafford, as 17-year-old Mason Greenwood gave United the lead before Rochdale pulled level through a first professional goal from 16-year-old defender Luke Matheson.

Daniel James, 21, United’s stand-out star from their start to the new season, also scored the winning penalty of the shoot-out.

CUP ROUND UP: West Ham thrashed by minnows, Liverpool win, Chelsea score seven

And Solskjear hailed his young players following the match, with significant praise for young striker Greenwood.

“Some players learned a lot today and some proved to us that we can give them more responsibility,” added the Norwegian.

“Mason again showed with his goalscoring abilities why we regard him so highly.

Mason Greenwood celebrates his second goal of the season for Man United
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“He has two great feet and took the penalty with his right, so he must be a nightmare for defenders having him one on one in the box.

“He can go both ways, which is for me fantastic and you can just see he has got quality and he will get his share of games.

“But he is young and we will give him time to grow.”

Listen to talkSPORT’s post-match interview with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer above

Manchester United FIFA 20 ratings predicted

3 Sep

FIFA 20 is almost upon upon us and gamers across the globe are itching to get their hands on a copy.

With a release date of September 27, 2019, you can be sure it won’t be long before we’re kissing goodbye to our families and friends for a few months.

Ahead of the launch, as is customary, many people are desperate to know just what the new ratings will be this season.

A countdown is soon to tell us the Top 100 stars on FIFA 20 but how will Manchester United player fare after a tumultuous 2018/19 season at Old Trafford.

Here at talkSPORT.com we took a look at FIFA 19 and have decided on our predicted ratings for this season’s game and you can see them below.

1. David de Gea

FIFA 19 rating – 91

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 89

2. Victor Lindelöf

FIFA 19 rating – 79

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 82

Lindelof will be key for the Red Devils this season
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3. Eric Bailly

FIFA 19 rating – 82

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 80

4. Phil Jones

FIFA 19 rating – 80

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 78

5. Harry Maguire

FIFA 19 rating – 82

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 84

Maguire has had a decent start to his United career
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6. Paul Pogba

FIFA 19 rating – 88

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 88

7. Alexis Sánchez (on loan at Inter Milan)

FIFA 19 rating – 87

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 84

8. Juan Mata

FIFA 19 rating – 83

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 81

9. Anthony Martial

FIFA 19 rating – 84

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 85

Anthony Martial celebrates opening the scoring for Manchester United against Wolves
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10. Marcus Rashford

FIFA 19 rating – 82

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 83

12. Chris Smalling (on loan at Roma)

FIFA 19 rating – 81

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 80

13. Lee Grant

FIFA 19 rating – 74

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 73

14. Jesse Lingard

FIFA 19 rating – 82

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 82

Jesse Lingard has come under fire for his form
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15. Andreas Pereira

FIFA 19 rating – 78

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 80

16. Marcos Rojo

FIFA 19 rating – 80

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 79

17. Fred

FIFA 19 rating – 82

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 81

18. Ashley Young

FIFA 19 rating – 80

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 80

Ashley Young in action for Manchester United
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20. Diogo Dalot

FIFA 19 rating – 72

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 76

21. Daniel James

FIFA 19 rating – 59

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 72

Daniel James celebrates his goal against Cardiff
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22. Sergio Romero

FIFA 19 rating – 80

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 79

23. Luke Shaw

FIFA 19 rating – 78

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 81

24. Timothy Fosu-Mensah

FIFA 19 rating – 74

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 74

26. Mason Greenwood

FIFA 19 rating – 66

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 70

Teenage sensation Mason Greenwood could be called upon by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season
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28. Angel Gomes

FIFA 19 rating – 66

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 68

29. Aaron Wan-Bissaka

FIFA 19 rating – 76

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 80

Wan-Bissaka is likely to be an England international very soon
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31. Nemanja Matić

FIFA 19 rating – 86

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 84

37. James Garner

FIFA 19 rating – 63

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 68

38. Axel Tuanzebe

FIFA 19 rating – 73

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 76

39. Scott McTominay

FIFA 19 rating – 71

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 78

Scott McTominay has looked good for Manchester United this season
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40. Joel Castro Pereira (on loan at Hearts)

FIFA 19 rating – 71

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 74

44. Tahith Chong

FIFA 19 rating – 65

Predicted FIFA 20 rating – 70

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action.

We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

Paul Pogba to start? How Manchester United could line up against Perth Glory in pre-season opener

12 Jul

Paul Pogba could start in Manchester United’s pre-season opener against Perth Glory on Saturday.

Last week, the France star’s agent, Mino Raiola, confirmed his client wanted to leave Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba could leave Manchester United this summer

The confirmation came after Real Madrid target Pogba admitted ‘it could be time for a new challenge’.

Despite his desire to leave, the 26-year-old is set to play a part in United’s pre-season tour of Australia.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side face Perth Glory and Leeds United before jetting off to play Inter Milan and Sevilla in Singapore and China, respectively.

There could be debuts for summer signings Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka this weekend.

Daniel James is an exciting addition to Manchester United’s squad

James will be hoping to hit the ground running after an impressive breakthrough 2018/19 season with Swansea, while Wan-Bissaka is expected to become the club’s first-choice right-back.

Romelu Lukaku, who has been heavily linked with a move to Serie A giants Inter Milan, and Anthony Martial could sit out of the Perth Glory clash after picking up knocks in training.

Marcus Rashford is likely to lead the line as he hopes to improve on his 13-goal tally from last season.

There could also be starts for United academy graduates Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes who were both given first-team minutes by Solskjaer last term.

Axel Tuanzebe, who won promotion to the Premier League with Aston Villa in May, could also have a chance to impress Solskjaer after returning from his loan spell.

Reports claim David de Gea is close to signing a new United deal and is set to keep his No.1 spot despite a shaky end to the 2018/19 season.

Is this how Manchester United could line up against Perth Glory?

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Have Manchester United finally replaced Gary Neville? Every right-back used since his retirement

10 Jul

Manchester United appear to have finally replaced Gary Neville with the £50million signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Neville made 602 appearances for the Red Devils after coming through the ranks at Old Trafford, winning eight Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.

Gary Neville (left) was a serial winner at Manchester United

And since retiring from football in 2011, players have tried and failed to fill the void left by the former Red Devils captain.

Wan-Bissaka will be the next right-back to try after leaving Crystal Palace to sign a five-year deal with United last month.

The 21-year-old could make his United debut against Perth Glory in a pre-season friendly on Saturday – and United fans are excited to see him in action.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is excited by Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s arrival

Below, talkSPORT.com look at other right-backs who have played for the club since Neville hung up his boots.


Rafael and his twin brother, Fabio, joined Manchester United from Brazilian club Fluminense in August 2008.

And Sir Alex Ferguson clearly trusted Rafael as he played a crucial role in three Premier League title wins in 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2012/13.

The 29-year-old kept his place in the team under David Moyes, but fell out of favour when Louis van Gaal took over in 2014.

The Dutchman allowed Rafael to move to Lyon for a modest £2.5million fee in August 2015.

Rafael was a regular starter under Sir Alex Ferguson

Chris Smalling

When Rafael wasn’t starting for the Red Devils in the year following Neville’s retirement, Smalling stepped into the breach.

He’d already spent time their at the beginning for the 2011/12 campaign as they kicked off with five straight wins and the England international starting four of them.

Meanwhile, across the festive period in 2012/13 he started in wins over Newcastle, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton.

Still at United, he’s not been near the role in some time.

Smalling in action during match between Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion
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Phil Jones

Just like team-mate Smalling, Jones slipped into the right-back role on occasion.

One of his earliest appearances here was in the early 2011/12 run in the match Smalling missed – a 5-0 win over Bolton.

His natural ball-playing ability made him perfect for the job but he was only used occasionally, especially after the signing of Matteo Darmian.

Jones has stepped in whenever called upon
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Matteo Darmian

Darmian was signed a month before Rafael was sold.

Even though Italy failed to make it out of the 2014 World Cup group stages, the full-back’s performances, especially in a 2-1 win over England, caught United’s eye.

A year later, he completed a £12.7million move from Torino and started the 2015/16 campaign as United’s first-choice right-back.

Despite a promising debut season at Old Trafford, Darmian struggled to hold down a regular starting spot under Van Gaal’s successor, Jose Mourinho.

After managing just 10 Premier League starts in the past two seasons with a year left on his contract, Darmian will surely aim to move on this summer.

Matteo Darmian is out of favour at Old Trafford

Antonio Valencia

Along with winning the FA Cup, another Van Gaal success story was converting Valencia into a right-back.

The Ecuador international had been linked with a move away from the club following the big-money arrivals of Memphis Depay and Angel Di Maria.

But he stayed put and transitioned from a right winger into a right-back during Van Gaal’s two-year spell in charge.

Valencia kept his new position under Mourinho, who dubbed him the world’s ‘the best right-back’ in 2017.

However, injuries and form affected the final years of his United career and he was released last month.

Antonio Valencia was Manchester United’s club captain

Ashley Young

Similarly to Valencia, Young has played the latter years of his career as a full-back on the right and left side.

Last season, he was exposed countless times which led to a section of Old Trafford fans turning against him.

Supporters even went the extra mile by starting a petition demanding the club to axe Young, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling this summer.

The arrival of Wan-Bissaka is set to restrict Young’s playing time next season.

Ashley Young could be made Manchester United’s new club captain for the upcoming campaign

Guillermo Varela

David Moyes’ first ever signing, but often forgotten about.

He started three Premier League matches in 2015/16, while also featuring in their Europa League adventures, which were ended by Liverpool.

After loans to Real Madrid Castilla and Eintracht Frankfurt he left for Penarol in Uruguay, his homeland, in 2017.

He’s now back in Europe with Copenhagen.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal shakes hands with Guillermo Varela
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Paddy McNair

Used in midfield when he arrived onto the scene in 2014/15, McNair was also used at right-back.

He played there against West Ham United in December 2015 as the Red Devils were held to a 0-0 draw.

The Northern Irish midfielder stepped in at right-back when called upon
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Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Fosu-Mensah joined Manchester United from Ajax as a youngster in 2014, before being given his first taste of senior football under Van Gaal.

He made 10 appearances during a breakthrough 2015/16 campaign, but struggled to win the trust of Mourinho the following season.

Fosu-Mensah’s last competitive United appearance came in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in May 2017.

Since then, he has had two unsuccessful season-long loan spells at Crystal Palace and Fulham.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah has not played for Manchester United in over two years

Eric Bailly

Signed from Villarreal for £30million and was Jose Mourinho’s first signing at Old Trafford.

Much like Jones and Smalling before him, Bailly was occasionally slipped into a role at full-back in the 2016/17 season.

Eric Bailly has been used at right-back when needed
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Axel Tuanzebe

A 2-0 defeat away at Arsenal in 2017 was the England youth international’s first Premier League start for the Red Devils and it came at right-back.

Usually a centre-back, Tuanzebe also featured at defensive midfield towards the end of the season.

Last year he impressed on loan at Aston Villa and could now make a permanent transfer to the Midlands.

Axel Tuanzebe in one of his Premier League performances for Manchester United
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Victor Lindelof

Like several other United centre-backs, the Swede’s ability with the ball at his feet led to him playing at right-back at points.

In December and January of the 2017/18 campaign he played there in a 2-2 draw with Leicester City and a victory over Everton.

Victor Lindelof was a £31million signing from Benfica
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Diogo Dalot

Arriving in a £19million deal from Porto last summer, Dalot was described by Mourinho as the ‘best young full-back in Europe’.

It was a claim that seemed bizarre after Dalot was forced to wait until December to make his Premier League debut.

The 20-year-old featured more prominently under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and ended a debut season in England with 23 appearances.

But Solskjaer’s determination to land another young right-back in Wan-Bissaka could be a bad sign for Dalot’s future.

Diogo Dalot had to wait a long time to make his Premier League debut

Aston Villa re-sign Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe for second loan spell

6 Aug

Aston Villa have re-signed Axel Tuanzebe on loan.

The Manchester United defender previously spent the second half of the 2017/18 season at Villa Park and will now get the chance to showcase himself over the course of an entire campaign.

Tuanzebe made five Championship appearances

Tuanzebe’s opportunities at Villa were limited due to injuries last season, but he has returned to fitness and enjoyed pre-season with his parent club on their tour of the US.

“It’s great to be back,” said the 20-year-old.”

“This is a big, big club and to represent it again is a big honour for me.

“It made perfect sense for me to return for the season ahead. I know my way around the place now and owe a lot to the great people who’ve really looked after me.

“It was a no-brainer and now the ambition remains the same as last season – to reach the Premier League.

“I believe the squad we have here are more than capable of achieving it and playing at that level.”