Matic praises 'fantastic' Manchester United talent Hannibal

Nemanja Matic has praised Manchester United prospect Hannibal ahead of his final match in the famous red shirt.

Matic has already confirmed that he will be leaving the club at the end of a campaign which will be rounded off by Sunday’s trip to play Crystal Palace.

The Serbian represents the club’s past and Hannibal should play a part in its future, under Erik ten Hag who has a reputation for youth development.

Speaking to the club website ahead of his exit, Matic said that United have an absolute diamond coming through in the shape of the Tunisia international.

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Matic praises Hannibal

“I have to say that Hannibal is a fantastic player [and a] great character,” Matic said.

“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.”

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

On the subject of gametime, there are plenty of United fans who likely would have wanted to see the midfielder get more minutes in recent games.

United’s season has been dead for weeks and one of the only ways to get some positivity back would have been for Ralf Rangnick to blood some youngsters.

He has elected not to do that, although perhaps the final game of the campaign will see him move away from that approach.

That said, United still need a result to ensure they come sixth and not seventh, making it Europa League football next season and not the Conference League.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.