Fans reacted with surprise when the 21-year-old defender was named captain ahead of the returning Paul Pogba.
Speaking to talkSPORT Solskjaer said: "Axel is a captain in the making, he's a leader- why not give it 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."
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