Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick was reportedly ‘not impressed’ by Hannibal Mejbri’s recent cameo against Liverpool. The 19-year-old came on for the final six minutes in his side’s 4-0 defeat at Anfield. However, he picked up a yellow card amid an angry performance and hasn’t featured in the squad since.
Manchester United were blown away by Liverpool recently, with a brace from Mohamed Salah and further goals from Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane giving their fierce rivals a 4-0 win.
Hannibal was brought on in the closing stages to impose himself and he did just that, producing a few angry challenges to give the away fans something to sing about.
Now, though, ESPN say Rangnick was ‘not impressed’ by the teenager’s undisciplined display.
And that’s why he’s been overlooked ever since, missing recent matches with Arsenal, Chelsea and Brentford.
Gary Neville was full of praise for Hannibal after his cameo against Liverpool, saying: “To be fair at least the kid’s showing something.
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“Honestly, it takes a young kid to come on and show the rest of them how to sprint to the ball and put a challenge in. I’m actually proud of him.
“Maybe he doesn’t like the idea of Liverpool passing around him, I wish the others were the same.”
And he then clarified his comments by saying: “I erred on to the slightly unprofessional side of commentary tonight when I said that the kid (Mejbri) to be fair I was proud of him because he was going around trying to top people and trying to kick people.
“But he demonstrated something, he showed something.
“He didn’t like the idea of Liverpool, at Anfield, passing it around him and the idea of Liverpool taking the mick out of him and his team-mates.
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“At least he demonstrated something. I am not saying it is brilliant because he could have hurt the Liverpool players, but as a Manchester United fan you can respond to that.”
However, Rangnick has since reprimanded Hannibal for his antics.
He was finished with a return to the under-23 team and youngsters Alejandro Garnacho and Alvaro Fernandez have since been named in the squad.
Hannibal does still have a bright future, however.
And United will be hoping he develops into a superstar when Erik ten Hag takes charge.
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, hailed Neville’s decision to apologise for his Hannibal comments after the emphatic win.
Klopp said: “He had to apologise for that, rightly so. I understand where he is coming from, you want to see some aggression, but there is a difference between aggression and kicking players. That makes no sense.
“Aggression in football means you are ready to hurt yourself, not the other player. That is aggression in football.
“I don’t blame the kid [Hannibal], he came on late and the game was quick and obviously wanted to make an impression.
“He was a bit late here and a bit late there, all good.
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“Aggression in football is fine but you cannot sort your own problems by hurting the opposition players, that is what I have never understood.”
And he added: “I have played 325 professional football games and without aggression and physicality I would have played none!
“It was my only strength that I had, so I am completely fine with that, but it’s about staying respectful, that’s all.
“Things can happen in football, it is a high-speed game but not these kinds of things where you don’t care about the other [player].
“He is a colleague who wants to play a few days later as well, that’s all.”