MANCHESTER UNITED could decide to turn starlet Axel Tuanzebe into a midfielder in the Paul Pogba mould.
The 22-year-old was outstanding at centre-half against superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the stunning 2-1 win at Paris Saint-Germain in midweek.
But United legend and former first-team coach Ryan Giggs revealed he was considered for a starting place in the midfield under ex-boss Louis van Gaal.
And sources at Carrington believe he has similar qualities to record-signing Pogba, which have been obvious when he has played in the engine room during training.
It leaves Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with an interesting choice to make as Tuanzebe stood out at centre-back in the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night
But the long-term future of Pogba remains in doubt — even though United chose to extend his contract by an extra year earlier this month.
Giggs reckons the youngster has the tools to play in either position — and his versatility will make him invaluable, providing he can stay fit.
The Wales boss said: “First of all he’s a really good lad with a good mentality.
“All he has to do now is stay fit and play games because he’s got all the attributes.
“He can handle the ball, he can even play midfield.
“We thought about playing him there when he was fit under Louis.
“When Louis came he was just going through a massive growth spurt so he had a few injuries, a few niggles. But he’s just got to stay fit.
“He can read the game well, and he is quick — which he showed against PSG.
“But he’s got to play games and when he plays games then his confidence will grow.”
Giggs believes Tuanzebe now needs to repeat his showing in the French capital consistently to convince Solskjaer to let him start regularly.
He told the Webby and O’Neill Channel: “Once he starts banging out the games it’s up to him to say to Ole ‘I’m doing so well that you can’t leave me out of the team’.
“It’s that consistency. He’s got to produce performances like that again and again. I’m sure if he stays fit he will be a regular in the first team.
“He’s had that loan time at Villa now, his mentality is good, he’s quick, he’s strong. He has all the attributes to be a centre-half for United too."