Things to know about an exciting young Frenchman

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Hannibal Mejbri, who joined the Manchester United academy from Monaco in 2019, has made great strides with the club.

The 18-year-old joined for £ 9 million, but has already set out to repay that substantial fee with the Red Devils under-23s.

The French teenager has played regularly, contributing many goals and assists, including a beautiful team goal against Blackburn.

As the floppy-haired young man continues to impress, here are seven things to know about Hannibal.

Mejbri has been on the radars of many clubs for a while | VALERY HACHE / Getty Images

All this attention will not have come as a surprise to Hannibal, who has been in the limelight since he was nine years old. Nine.

Talking to AFP (via RTL), his father, Lofti, confessed that agents and scouts have been pursuing his son for years, insisting that he always fought against her advances to try to protect him.

Thanks to that guidance, Hannibal has managed to grow on his own, and that led him to the gates of Old Trafford.

Hannibal’s father has always been very involved in his career, trying to show his son that there is life outside of football.

Lotfi said Le Parisien that studies were always more important for the young midfielder, who could have become a doctor or a lawyer if football didn’t work for him.

Intelligence has always been a key part of Hannibal’s life, and that is clear from the way he plays.

Hannibal Mejbri
Hannibal has excellent vision | Gareth Copley / Getty Images

Hannibal loves to use his mind to play soccer. As a creative midfielder, passing is his forte and he has a vision far beyond his age.

Considered a true coach, he is a regular player at taking set pieces from his side and is often able to pick a pass that most of the players around him cannot see. His decision making is excellent and he is rarely flustered with possession.

Hannibal fits the mold of a modern creative midfielder, someone who loves to dive deep to catch the ball, before turning and moving his side onto the field.

Dilan Markanday, Hannibal Mejbri
Hannibal makes an entrance to Spurs | Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Unfortunately, Hannibal’s desire to dig deep can often prove detrimental to his side. He is often exposed on the defensive side of things.

He’s not exactly blessed with the best physique and can be harassed quite easily by bigger attackers, something he could certainly have trouble with in the Premier League.

His teammates can leave the creation to him, but they will need to support him en masse when asked to defend.

Hannibal Mejbri
Hannibal could have joined Liverpool | Nathan Stirk / Getty Images

United fans love to see their club pick an exciting young man, but they love it even more when said young man snubs some of his direct rivals.

Back with Hannibal’s father again, he said Le Parisien who have already turned down a huge offer to move to Liverpool, while Manchester City and Arsenal have failed in bids for the young midfielder.

He added that the Gunners even brought him to trial, but ultimately decided not to go ahead – could they live to regret it?

Hannibal has represented France at the U16 and U17 level, with 15 international matches to his name.

Surely it is only a matter of time before your under 18s and under 21s come to call.

Liam Delap and Hannibal Mejbri
Mejbri boss fears he will be seriously injured | Charlotte Tattersall / Getty Images

Manchester United U23 manager Neil Wood has called for Hannibal to be more protected from the referees, and the youngster is often sent off the pitch.

Wood revealed to BUT Hannibal had played with a broken nose earlier this season and fears he could suffer a more serious injury.

“I think Hannibal has a lot of quality and the frustrating point for him is that there must be about 15 fouls on him per game,” he said.

“And at some point, if he doesn’t stop or if the referee doesn’t protect him, he will break his leg. That’s what I fear for him. “

United have been busy acquiring some of Europe’s best young talent of late, such as the acquisition of Frenchman Noam Emeran in February 2019. He may not have made an impact at Old Trafford yet, but he has been working behind the scenes.

After signing for United, Hannibal spoke with Le Parisien on why he chose to move to Old Trafford, and was quick to credit Emeran for speaking so highly of the club.

The pair certainly appear to have a close bond, and fans are looking forward to seeing them play an important role in United’s future.

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