Manchester United have a new international in their ranks. Hannibal Mejbri opted to represent Tunisia this summer, and he already has three caps to his name.
That could bode well for his hopes of a first-team breakthrough next season.
The 18-year-old is among United’s brightest gems. And it is only a matter of time before he shows that at Old Trafford.
Now he has tasted international football, it could be the making of him – for both club and country.
Mejbri will not want to return to U23 action next season having played three senior international clashes in just 10 days this summer.
It will have given him a tantalizing glimpse of what is to come. And it may be the catalyst to ensure he is ready for United sooner than first thought.
Mejbri is quickly outgrowing second string football. And it is testament to his ability that he has not only been called up by Tunisia but is being hailed as a huge coup.
Two substitute appearances and then a 70-minute outing in three quick-fire friendlies show he is not there to make up the numbers.
And he will head back to United this summer with a spring in his step and a target in mind.
Time for the next step
A loan move may be the most likely option. But Mejbri is a generational talent, and United would be wise to keep him close.
He may not get many chances next season, but every single one will be a major stepping stone to bigger things.
There is a reason United signed the youngster for £8.5million (MEN) before he had played a minute of senior football. And it will be interesting to see how he plays in pre-season now he can add ‘international’ to his CV.
If he was confident before, Mejbri’s exploits over the last few weeks are only going to increase that significantly.