It is no secret that Manchester United have struggled so far this season. Under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, the Red Devils have looked in desperate need of a fresh spark, and that could come in the shape of Hannibal Mejbri.
The playmaker has made a great impression at United since joining their youth team from Monaco in 2019. Despite being just a teenager, Hannibal quickly found himself on the cusp of first-team football after progressing into the under-21 side.
Solskjaer handed the Tunisian international his debut on the final game of last season in United’s 2-1 victory over Wolves, replacing Juan Mata in midfield in the 82nd minute. However, his progress has stalled so far this season.
Hannibal has suffered several injuries and has also been away at international competitions throughout this campaign, but he is hoping that he will have an opportunity in the Premier League soon. The 17-year-old has spoken ahead of the international break about how keen he is to impress under Rangnick having been an unused substitute on four occasions under the German boss.
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“All the experience to gain, I’ll take it, whether it be in training, on the bench or, even if I’ve not had the chance yet,” he told TN Sport. “But maybe in the future… As soon as I get the chance, I’ll take the experience I have and I’ll show what I can do.”
Hannibal is currently away on international duty with Tunisia, who face Mali in the third round of the World Cup qualifiers later this week. Asked about whether Rangnick has given him any words of wisdom ahead of the matches, Hannibal replied: “Of course, he encourages us, because the more players that go to the World Cup, the better it is for the club, but no special message.”
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Hannibal will certainly have his opportunity to show the Premier League why he is so highly rated by the club, and a new manager in the summer could be what he needs to break into the first-team set-up. Ajax’s Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino are the two leading the race for the summertime vacancy, though Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui and Spain manager Luis Enrique are also being considered.
With the Red Devils not spending any money in the January transfer window, whoever is appointed is certain to bring a fresh wave of talent into the club which could push Hannibal further down the pecking order. But if the young prospect makes a good impression, as Anthony Elanga did under Rangnick, then opportunities could come his way.