Of all Manchester United’s second-string prospects, Hannibal Mejbri is arguably the best. The Frenchman may have only recently stepped up to the under-23s, but the 17-year-old is the real deal.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Mejbri was in line for a first-team fast-track prior to Bruno Fernandes’s arrival.
That generated plenty of headlines about the French teenager. But one line was overlooked, because the £8.9million signing (MEN) was not the only youngster in contention.
Largie Ramazani was also said to be in the mix – had United not strengthened their attacking options with the signings of Fernandes and Odion Ighalo.
Given the 19-year-old’s performances for the U23s, that is no surprise. After all, Ramazani has scored 11 goals in just 18 appearances at that level.
Predominantly a winger, the teenager can also operate as a centre forward. He always impresses and almost invariably scores. So it would be foolish to big-up Mejbri without considering his talented teammate.
The problem for Mejbri is that he is competing in a packed crowd. The central midfielder needs to overhaul the likes of Fernandes, Fred, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Andreas Pereira and only the latter looks catchable right now.
Mejbri’s time will come. He is far too talented to ignore for long. Yet it could be Ramazani who breaks through first.
After all, United are nowhere near as strong out wide. While Dan James has impressed, Tahith Chong is far from the finished article.
There is the very real prospect of Ramazani taking the Dutchman’s chances next season, especially if Chong secures a loan move.
Mejbri’s price-tag (and hairstyle) means he was always going to make headlines after talk of a first-team promotion. But don’t overlook the other player tipped to do the same.