Hannibal Mejbri may have had one of the toughest tests of his budding Manchester United career last night.
The former Monaco teenager took a kicking on the pitch from a physical Leeds side in a competitive FA Youth Cup clash at Old Trafford.
Opposing fans in attendance refused to admit he was being fouled, jeering him for going to ground easily, and he became a target for boos.
Mejbri kept his head and played his game, and helped United secure a 1-0 win.
Significant performance, with character
This victory put United in the quarter-finals of the competition, at home to Wigan, who knocked out Tottenham. This is the furthest United have been in the Youth Cup since 2012.
Mejbri’s composed performance in the middle was arguably outshone by the excellent Teden Mengi in defence.
But United’s long-standing need for top midfielders at first team level, and the potential of Paul Pogba leaving, means there is extra excitement about Mejbri’s first season at United.
Last night as well as talent, he showed character, to keep on getting up after being fouled multiple times, and playing all 90 minutes to help his side to a win.
First team manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was watching in the stands and he will have been impressed with the way Mejbri handled the occasion.
The club paid £9 million to sign Mejbri last summer. For that price, they needed the teenager to be special. Luckily it looks like he might be.
Thumbs up from supporters
Here is a look at how United supporters reacted to Mejbri’s performance…
- Trio left out of United squad for Watford after Brugge game, teen trio called in
- Manchester United need to be more proactive over Boubakary Soumare
- Manchester United do not need to overpay for Kalidou Koulibaly
- Manchester United must give Chong and Gomes creative control over their futures
- Solskjaer watches United’s academy as first team players join kids training