Manchester United wonderkid Hannibal Mejbri has made a major impact since his big-money move from Monaco last summer.
The 17-year-old quickly settled in at United and was soon “taking the p***” out of his team-mates with his trickery and skill on the ball.
Despite soon being moved into Under-23s sessions and playing with players several years older, The Athletic reported last season that he was bewildering defenders.
“He actually takes the "p***" sometimes against players a couple of years older than him," said a club source. "He’ll feint to strike then drag it and shoot the other way.”
Mejbri’s promise has seen him earmarked for a fast-track to the first-team, and it was senior players for Salford City on the receiving end of his footwork this week.
He scored a fine solo goal and provided an assist in a 6-0 win to kick-off United Under-21s EFL Trophy campaign.
But after a game which did little to calm excitement and buzz surrounding the youngster, youth manager Neil Wood looked to downplay the chances of a first-team introduction.
“As much as he’s a good player there’s still a long way to go with Hannibal, he’s still got a lot of learning to do, a lot of improving," said Wood.
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“You can see the good bits of his play, he’s got great feet, he’s got great vision, he’s tenacious, but there’s still work to be done with him.
“I wouldn’t get carried away and say he’s going to be in the first team, but he’s willing to work, he’s willing to improve, he’s got a very good understanding of the game and a very good understanding of what he needs to get better at as well.
“We’re going to keep working with him this season, he’s had a very good pre-season, we’re very pleased with his pre-season, and we’re hoping he can take that into the season ahead.”
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