AXEL TUANZEBE might be the best thing to happen to Harry Maguire since the defender joined the club from Leicester for £85million last year.
It’s been well documented just what a tough time Maguire, 27, has had for club and country after his Greek antics.
Apart from an impressive performance against Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday, Maguire has struggled badly positionally but also with the timing of his challenges on multiple occasions.
Just watch the first half of United’s 6-1 home defeat to Spurs for a reminder!
But Tuanzebe’s return, takes the pressure off Maguire.
The England international can now focus on the things that attracted United to him in the first place.
He can get back to defending well in the air, reading the game properly, walking the ball out of defence, and taking control of the back four.
And he can do this safe in the knowledge he will have a mobile partner in Tuanzebe, 22, next to him waiting to sweep up the danger if required.
Tuanzebe’s return should be a long-term one after a great showing against PSG, which means that Maguire will now be in competition with Victor Lindelof for a spot next to the youngster.
For too long Maguire has tried to do the things he’s not comfortable with and made mistakes and lost confidence.
Tuanzebe hadn't played a game of first-team football for United since December 2019, so admittedly it was a surprise on Tuesday evening to see him thrown into a three-man defence up against Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Tuanzebe is quick and an exceptional defender with superb technical ability.
And he showed in Paris during United’s 2-1 win, he’s also an intelligent footballer who can snuff out danger quickly without looking flustered.
His potential is something that’s never been questioned, but his biggest and only real issue has been the persistent battle to remain fit for a prolonged period of time.
United were linked with some of the best central defenders in Europe throughout the summer transfer window but the message from the club was clear - they weren’t pursuing one.
Former United centre-half Rio Ferdinand knows what it takes to succeed in the heart of defence and he was full of praise for the youngster after the famous win.
He told BT Sport: "This is where Manchester United have struggled in the last six to 12 months, chasing players down the channels.
"They can't stay with them and then that opens up the back four. They were smelling danger.
"Yes [has he played his way into the team]. Ole has just said he's snuffed out two of the best strikers in the world. You have to reward performances.
"He's had a hard time with injuries, his first game in ten months but to come in and play like that, you have to be rewarded."
So all eyes turn to the weekend and the fixture against Chelsea.
A fit Tuanzebe has to be one of the first names on the team sheet.
And if Maguire can find his Leicester form, then United might have a partnership that can lead them to a trophy this campaign.