Antonio Valencia becomes the fourth ex-United captain to talk up Hannibal

Hannibal is a highly regarded talent inside Manchester United and the way former Red Devils greats have talked him up speak volumes about his quality.

The Tunisian has three first team games for United under his belt already, in addition to 15 senior international caps for his country at the age of just 19.

Former United captain Antonio Valencia is the latest to add his approval for Hannibal, speaking about how impressed he has been with the teenager.

Valencia was quoted by United’s media channels: “I love Hannibal’s personality and his will to win tackles. He is a kid with great talent and I hope to see of him soon.”

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

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Valencia the latest to talk up Hannibal

Valencia is not the only big United name to talk up Hannibal in recent weeks. Nemanja Matic, Gary Neville and Bryan Robson have all weighed in.

Matic told United’s club website: “I have to say that Hannibal is a fantastic player [and a] great character. The talent he has, he needs to use that. I really want to see him in the future and how he will grow.

“I hope so [to see him get more minutes]. I think that every time I see him in training, he surprises me with his quality, he’s still young, but I’m very excited. I really want to see how he’s growing and improving.”

Gary Neville spoke about him after his fiery cameo at Anfield, telling Sky Sports: “He’s sprinting to make a tackle and showing the rest of them.

“I’m proud of him. May be he doesn’t like the rest of them passing around him. I wish the rest were the same. That kid to be fair, he’s giving it some at least.”

Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Legendary skipper Bryan Robson told MUTV: “You have to have control, and Hannibal took that right to the edge. I quite liked it. The fans want to see someone who cares. The kid only had five mins so at least he showed some pride.”

All four of Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic, Gary Neville and Bryan Robson have captained Manchester United at various stages in their careers, some for longer than others, and their praise and liking for Hannibal is significant.

He has a long way to go in his career, and the next step is trying to get manager Erik ten Hag onside. That’s the important one.

Next season Hannibal needs game time, and a loan move is possible. One way or another, he needs to seize the opportunity he is directed towards. He is not the type of character to back away from a challenge, so expect him to grasp it.

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