Manchester United’s head of first-team development Nicky Butt has lauded academy star Hannibal Mejbri as a leader, hinting he could be next to break into the first-team.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad have lacked creativity, which is one of the reasons why Bruno Fernandes was signed in January, yet the young academy product could soon add some more.
Mejbri arrived at United in the summer, signing for a rather hefty fee with there being high hopes he can prove to be a wonder-kid.
The playmaking midfielder has since made a splash but has yet to appear for the first-team squad so far.
Solskjaer is obviously hesitant of throwing a 17-year-old into the deep end but he may not be able to hold back Mejbri for much longer.
According to Manchester Evening News, Butt said: “We’ve got the old-fashioned leaders, if you like, who are going to talk to the players and drive the team. Hannibal (Mejbri)’s a leader. The way he plays his football is 100mph, he’s non-stop running up and down.”
Butt was part of the famous Class of ’92 who graduated from Manchester United’s academy to enjoy huge success so it’s likely he knows what he’s talking about.
The former tenacious midfielder also played alongside great leaders and so his praise for Mejbri can’t be taken lightly.
Some United fans were baffled by Solskjaer’s reluctance to tap into the academy’s resources when it came to midfielders since Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic were all injured at various points in the season.