Hannibal Mejbri made his under-18s debut for Manchester United at the weekend.
Mejbri joined United for £9 million from Monaco in the summer. It was one of the highest fees the Red Devils have ever paid for a teenager.
The result of the game was not one Mejbri will remember well. United lost 5-1 to Derby County.
This was a tough introduction to English football for Mejbri, who was one of three debutants in the side, along with Bjorn Hardley and Calen Gallagher-Allison.
Why the bad result?
It was a game United let get away from them quickly, after conceding three goals in the opening 20 minutes.
From there on, United rallied well, with midfielder Mark Helm scoring our goal, but the damage was done.
It was a very young team United fielded, influenced by Will Fish, Teden Mengi and Anthony Elanga all stepping up to the under-23s.
This was United’s under-18 side’s second loss in a row, after a previous run of three consecutive wins.
For Mejbri this was just a first step, and it is important for United that he gets as much game time this season as possible.
It will be a long journey for him up to first team level, and the first challenge is for him to start influencing games in the academy. That will come.
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