This past transfer window is one which United will look back on with mixed memories. The incoming signings were good, just not enough.
One low key addition who could give the summer of 2019 a really positive spin in years to come is Hannibal Mejbri.
United signed Mejbri from Monaco for £9 million, a high fee for a midfielder who is just 16.
A report in The Times today claims “there is considerable excitement within United” over Mejbri.
It might be justified
Mejbri has made an impressive start at United so far. Already he has featured for the under-23 side.
His performance caught the eye, coming off the bench in a defeat to Villa. This came days after he provided two assists in an under-18s game against Everton.
Several teams were chasing him and the money paid suggests United may have bought a special talent.
We will continue to track his progress, but his slight physique suggests he is far from ready for first team football just yet.
Is this just Woodward spin?
We have to also take this information in the context it was set. The line about Mejbri was part of a Times article from Henry Winter which stated United are backing manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer amid poor form.
The report detailed the extensive scouting work undertaken to sign Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer. This was information the club wanted to have out there.
United’s recruitment in the summer was good, but left major holes in the squad. Namely in midfield.
The club are desperate for positives right now, and while Mejbri might be one, we would much rather they invested in a world class central midfielder who is ready to contribute here and now.
The hidden benefit
Mejbri is a bright talent who won’t be ready now, or probably next season either. But there is another benefit.
He will become an under-23 regular sooner rather than later, and could push James Garner closer to the first team.
United are likely to be more willing to promote Garner and Dylan Levitt if there is adequate cover, and Mejbri is part of this solution.
- Mark Helm scores impressive free-kick in under-23s first friendly
- Sevilla’s top three dangermen capable of ending United’s Europa League hopes
- Why there is a strong case to re-sign Memphis Depay as Sancho alternative
- Solskjaer must not repeat FA Cup mistake and drop Romero for de Gea
- Why Woodward wouldn’t sign a teenage Ronaldo now