Hannibal Mejbri first-team plans are seemingly on hold for at least another season, after the young midfielder moved to Manchester United for a big fee last summer.
Hannibal Mejbri cost almost £10million as a sixteen-year-old. The Red Devils are considerably excited about the Frenchman. However, they’re not going to rush his development.
After a season in U23s football, many, myself included, thought that it’d be time for Mejbri to make the jump up. After all, the talent is there and he needs that exposure to the first-team environment. Perhaps not week-in-week-out, but every now and then. Even training with the main squad would work wonders for his confidence.
Well, United U23 manager Neil Wood has offered us an update on United’s plans for Mejbri next season. Although he’s called a ‘young player with potential’, it has been strongly suggested he’ll be playing with the U23s again next season…
“I think what you need to remember is Hannibal is still a young lad, he is only 17,” Wood told the Manchester Evening News. “He’s not long been here really, he is probably coming up to almost a first completed season if that.”
“I think people get sucked into the price-tag, and again that is not Hannibal’s fault. So I think he is a young player with potential, he is one of the young players we have got with potential, but there is still a lot of development and learning which needs to be put into him.
“We still need to get him to a higher level to get him to even go and train with the first-team, so there is no rush to start pushing him in that first-team environment right now.
“I think the challenge is going to be enough for him at U23s right now and we are going to push him and try to move him up as quick as we can, but at the same time we won’t rush him if he’s not ready to do that.”
Mejbri’s undeniable talent
At the end of the day, who are we to argue? Mejbri has only been here a year. Perhaps he’s still getting used to his new surroundings – and forcing first-team football upon him too soon wouldn’t help anyone.
It’s also going to be a strange 2020/21 term. COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc on the world. Who knows how many games will be played at U23 level? I’m hopeful we’ll get a full season, but right now, you just never know…
The boy is special. United know what they’re doing. Although I’d love to see him in the first-team next year, I know I’m being a tad impatient. We need to let him develop at his own pace and speed as getting the timing right is crucial.
For now, we’ll have to enjoy his talents at youth level. Then, when he’s ready, I don’t doubt he’ll make the jump up.
Is Hannibal Mejbri good enough for the Manchester United first-team? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.