Neil Wood: No rush on Hannibal Mejbri to join first-team

by Marwan Harraz

Manchester United’s U23 manager Neil Wood has called on fans to manage their expectations in regards to Hannibal Mejbri.

The young Frenchman made the move to Old Trafford last summer and made headlines for his £9m fee according to Transfermarkt.

Mejbri is still a teenager but his price-tag meant some supporters wanted to see him involved with the first-team right away.

This especially happened when United’s midfield was shorn of quality of injuries to several of their players.

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to continue playing the, perhaps uncreative, duo of Scott McTominay and Fred.

According to Manchester Evening News, Wood said: “I think what you need to remember is Hannibal is still a young lad, he is only 17.

“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.”

According to Transfermarkt, Mejbri has managed just around 1200 minutes across all competitions, which is a respectable amount for a 17-year-old.

Fans may hope for him to explode onto the scene in a similar manner to Marcus Rashford or more recently Mason Greenwood but that doesn’t always happen.

If anything, a youngster breaking through so brilliantly is actually an anomaly and the more ‘normal’ thing is for youngsters to be slowly bedded into the first-team.

Eventually, it would be easy to imagine there’s room for Mejbri in United’s midfield as the only creative forces are Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.

Should he continue his development successfully then Solskjaer would easily find space for him to flourish in the first-team.

Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood have scored over 60 goals between them so far this season. But how much do you know about other strikers who played for the Red Devils over the years? Take our quiz below to find out.

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