Axel Tuanzebe: Ex-manchester United Star Switches International Allegiance From England to DR Congo

Axel Tuanzebe: Ex-manchester United Star Switches International Allegiance From England to DR Congo

Ero Samson
updated at March 23, 2024 at 5:24 PM
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  • Axel Tuanzebe has failed to break into England's senior national team set-up
  • The defender only recently departed Manchester United for Ipswich Town
  • The 26-year-old has switched his international allegiance to play for DR Congo

Former Manchester United centre-back, Axel Tuanzebe, has made a significant decision regarding his international football career, choosing to switch his allegiance from England to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).

The Ipswich Town defender, whose ancestral roots can be traced back to Bunia in the DRC, made this choice after his aspirations of representing England were no longer viable.

The 26-year-old, who has experienced a nomadic spell in recent years, featuring for clubs such as Napoli, Aston Villa, and Stoke City, has now embraced the opportunity to play under coach, Sebastien Desabre, for the Central African nation.

Axel Tuanzebe, Manchester United, DR Congo, England, Ipswich Town, CAF
Axel Tuanzebe in action during a first team training at Carrington Training Ground. Image: Matthew Peters.
Source: Getty Images

According to reports from the media outlet Kawowo, Tuanzebe could make his debut for Les Leopard as soon as the June international window.

The defender's decision is a timely boost for the DR Congo national team, especially as football in the country is experiencing a surge. Their recent fourth-place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast, where they defeated teams like Egypt, highlights their growth.

This move also signals DR Congo's ambitions to secure a place at the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The nation has not qualified for the World Cup since 1974, when they participated as Zaire.

Fans reactions to Tuanzebe's switch

@UTDKara, expressing satisfaction with Tuanzebe's choice, suggested:

"Ebere Eze, Michael Olise, Fikayo Tomori, Tammy Abraham, and others could take a cue from his decision."

@alvin_halgo pointed out:

“He has never been selected for England senior team. It's time for Africa to improve it's footballing infrastructure to compete with the rest of the World.”

@Big_Mayorr pondered the potential impact if more players chose to represent their true countries, noting:

“If every player starts playing for their real country. England and France would lose so many key players. I encourage players to support their homeland.”

@UTD_Henry31 lamented:

“Axel was supposed to be the next big defender.”

Tuanzebe spotted in Man United training

In a previous report, Sports Brief noted that Tuanzebe was seen at Manchester United's training ground.

The defender was in the process of returning to full fitness and was actively participating in individual training sessions.

Authors
Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).