Manchester United have high hopes for Hannibal Mejbri who has been tipped as one of the best youngsters the club has had in years while Paul Pogba’s contract situation has been linked
Manchester United are training Hannibal Mejbri to potentially fill Paul Pogba’s position as speculation over his future continues.
The France international will see his deal expire at the end of the season, meaning he could leave for nothing.
However, recent reports have indicated that Pogba could reverse his decision and pen a new deal with the Red Devils after the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Regardless of the situation, United appear to have put in place a contingency plan that makes sure that no matter what happens, they are covered.
One of them being the development of Hannibal – one of the best youngsters at the club, who has been tipped for stardom in the future.
According to The Athletic, the playmaker has been utilised in a deeper role in midfield – the second time he has been challenged by United Under-23 coach Neil Wood to change his position.
Hannibal prefers playing as a No. 10 but this season has seen him moved further back and used in a ‘Pogba’ role, distributing from deep and starting attacks himself.
Could Hannibal Mejbri replace Paul Pogba? Comment below
Another attribute that has increased exponentially is his physicality, a much-needed trait in central midfield in the Premier League.
Especially for a player that takes a lot of hits but The Athletic report that coaches have been impressed by his stamina and resilience.
“He played last season as a 10, and he played on the left and he really excelled,” Wood said last month.
“I think the next step of his development is to look to play him in a deeper role.
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“Can he be in a deeper role during build-up? And then as we get out of build-up, can he get himself into an advanced position to get into the areas that he liked to get into last season to hurt teams and really show his creative spark off?
“So I think that’s the next phase of his learning, for this season especially up until January when he probably goes away with the Africa Cup of Nations.
“He’s going to have times like today when he’s going to be a bit deeper out of possession, but in possession, he was pushing higher up the pitch.”
While Hannibal might not be ready for a first-team role just yet, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks highly of the Tunisia international – who declared for the north African country earlier this year.
It remains to be seen how Pogba’s situation will turn out but the Red Devils are resting easy knowing they have a potential successor waiting in the wings.