Erik ten Hag has had four matches to look at the Manchester United squad and now has a pretty good idea about which players can suit his style of play. During the Asia and Australia pre-season tour, the Dutchman gave minutes to a lot of youngsters to figure out who will stay on as part of the squad and which players need a loan to develop further.
Someone who impressed the former Ajax boss was Hannibal Mejbri. He was deployed as an attacking midfielder as well as a striker and impressed with his aggressiveness and his willingness to adapt to the manager’s demands.
The United boss said, “Hannibal Mejbri, he plays some minutes now and I think he did quite well, in training as well. He makes quite a good impression.”
🗞 Hannibal Mejbri looks set to join a Championship club on loan, with Birmingham, West Brom, Millwall and Middlesbrough all interested in signing him. [Sky Sports]
— Utd District (@UtdDistrict) July 23, 2022
The Tunisia international made his debut under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the last game of the 2020-21 season and earned plaudits from fans and pundits alike for his fiery cameo against Liverpool last season.
The 19-year-old has the ability to play in multiple areas on the pitch, including as a defensive midfielder as well as in a more advanced role. And his performances for the national team and the United U-23s has helped him garner a lot of attention from competing clubs across Europe.
So far, six English clubs and two Spanish clubs have shown interest in the United academy graduate and Ten Hag will take the final call after considering the options the Old Trafford outfit has in the middle of the park at the start of the season.
Birmingham in pole position
According to Sky Sports, Championship outfits Birmingham City, West Brom, Millwall, and Middlesbrough have shown concrete interest in bringing the versatile midfielder on loan. Two Spanish clubs and Braga from Portugal have also expressed their wish to land the youngster on a temporary deal.
And as of now, it seems Birmingham are leading the race for the highly-rated Tunisian. Blues manager John Eustace has already spoken about the club’s ambition of bringing the United youngster to the club for a temporary stint.
“I am sure we are being linked with a lot of players. I know Hannibal is a very good player, Man United have got some fantastic young players in their squad.
“We had a fantastic one [Tahith Chong] come to the club last year and did very well. Listen, if good players are linked to Birmingham City that’s good for us,” he was quoted as saying.
Ten Hag had previously said that he will take the final call after looking at players who can contribute in a long and gruelling season.
“I also know the standards in the Premier League are really high and it’s always about are they ready to take the responsibility to play, to contribute. That’s what I have to prove and I will take my decisions. It’s clear some of them have potential.”
Fans would love to see Hannibal in the famous red shirt, strutting his stuff at Old Trafford, but the manager will know who to blood and who needs to develop further in order to contribute to the long-term success of United.