While there are reasons to be positive for Manchester United supporters, no one can escape some of the underlying issues for the football club, both on and off the pitch.
It currently seems too far a push to suggest United are anywhere near competing for accolades due to the amount of dressing room discontent (I hope I’m wrong). With reports indicating a fractious atmosphere within the player camp, it feels like the club are set to embark on another significant rebuild, going back to square one.
Certain players will leave Old Trafford in the January or summer transfer window, which means Rangnick is tasked with replacing these individuals to try and make United great again.
While there will be new additions to the team, one area that United supporters always take pride in is the academy products, and it looks like there’s already one player who’s putting his name in contention to join up with the senior team.
That person is Tunisian talent, Hannibal Mejbri.
To put it simply, Mejbri is a superstar in the making because he has it all. Be it shooting, dribbling, passing or all-around technical ability, there’s a reason why he’s already representing his country at such a young age.
He’s only played five matches at youth level for United this season, but he still has two assists to his name. His 2020/21 campaign saw him win plaudits, not just in Manchester but across the country. He got four goals and ten assists in 20 Premier League 2 matches.
Mejbri is one of United’s most highly-rated youth prospects and is already an integral member of the Tunisian national side, helping them finish runners-up in the Arab Cup.
The 18-year-old had the option of moving on loan in January to a lower league/Championship side. Still, he and United thought it was best he got some international experience at the early stages of his career. On the plus side, it looks like it’s only benefitting him.
Currently, Mejbri is on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), and he started in Tunisia’s 1-0 defeat to Mali on Wednesday. However, he returned to the bench for Sunday’s game against Mauritania.
Rangnick is already an admirer of Mejbri, and the plan is for him to rejoin the first team as soon as he gets back from AFCON. That will be music to a lot of United fans ears.
From some of his performances, it’s clear that he’s grown into his role and looks like a real presence on the pitch, which are the exact traits you need to become a United player.
United are in dire need of a rebuild, and integrating a player who understands and respects the badge will only be commended by supporters because it marks the start of a new change at the club. It would be best if you had players who want to bring back success, and Mejbri is someone who could do that.
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Sometimes you don’t always need to splash the cash if you’ve got talent at the youth level. Look at what’s happened with Mason Greenwood, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Phil Foden at their clubs. All showed a desire and hunger to break into the first team, and if Mejbri does that, a star could be born.
Rangnick has always put faith in the youth, and it feels like Mejbri could be his sort of player and provide competition to the likes of Bruno Fernandes in the number 10 role.
Fans will love it if Mejbri symbolises the start of a fresh United rebuild. He has all the talent in the world, and if he takes his opportunity, his name could go down in folklore.
Can Mejbri become a star at United? Follow our United On My Mind writer Omar Garrick on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.