Manchester United have announced Hannibal Mejbri has signed a long term contract.
Mejbri is regarded as one of the top talents in United’s youth system. He was signed from Monaco in 2019 for a fee of around £8 million.
It was a big fee to spend on a 16-year-old, and yet everything we have seen of Mejbri since suggests that it was a sensible, worthwhile investment.
Mejbri stepped up from the under-18s to the under-23 team within a few months, and this season he has been one of the star players in the side.
Mejbri has scored four goals and provided seven assists and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently called him up into the first team squad, before he suffered a minor injury.
The young Frenchman is closing in on a return. He was seen training with the under-23s before their game against Brighton last week although he was not in the squad.
This contract news is great from United’s perspective. He was already under a deal until 2023 with an option until 2024, and this extension while unspecified in terms of length, will keep him under contract even longer.
Mejbri still has a chance to make his debut this season. The hope is that United can wrap up Champions League qualification early, and will have some leeway to rotate the team a little.
The long term deal allows United to be more creative in terms of loans too. A one or even two year loan deal could be arranged to let Mejbri develop in the first team elsewhere.
It wouldn’t be a surprise though if United want to keep Mejbri close at hand. The young Frenchman is a big talent and locking him into a deal keeps United in control of the investment the club made in him.
Not every young player can develop into a top star, but Hannibal is showing all the signs that he can.
He has a passing range which really stands out at under-23 level, and his creativity would also benefit the first team when he is ready to contribute on a regular basis.
News of the contract extension went down well with United supporters…
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