Hannibal Mejbri made a positive impact from the bench for Manchester United but it was not enough to stop defeat against Brighton.
The Tunisian midfielder replaced Casemiro shortly before The Seagulls grabbed their third of the game. It was only minutes later when he scored a wonderful goal from outside the box to make it a 3-1 scoreline.
Hannibal played at Birmingham City in the Championship last term and impressed throughout the campaign. He also looked impressive on United’s pre-season tour but did not get a chance in any of the four opening Premier League fixtures.
Following his strike, which flew passed the impressive Jason Steel, Hannibal let out a quick celebration before heading back to the half-way line with a glimmer of hope which soon faded away.
The 20-year-old has been at the club since 2019 but stated that he isn’t able to truly enjoy his first United goal because of the end result.
“Years of work went into that moment to score a goal for this incredible club,” he wrote on social media. “[But it’s] impossible to enjoy it without the team getting the result we wanted.”
Hannibal has been one of the most talented academy prospects in recent years and this season seems like his best chance to make a case to stay at Old Trafford and that goal didn’t hurt at all.
Similarly to former midfielder Fred, who has since moved to Turkey, Hannibal offers intensity and energy that you don’t often get from other players. One commentator during last season’s game between Birmingham and Queens Park Rangers jokingly asked his co-commentator if there were two Hannibal’s on the pitch.
But, they are not very similar players. Hannibal is a more delicate player in possession of the ball than the tenacious Brazilian. He also has a better eye for a pass in the final third.
With Kobbie Mainoo still out of action, Hannibal is the youngster best placed to make a push for a role in the team now. So far this term, Casemiro has failed to have an impact near what he had last year. Christian Eriksen nor Mason Mount have impressed loads in their respective games.
Whilst Sofyan Amrabat is also going to come into the frame, the young United midfielder can also try and influence the manager’s decision-making. He would’ve already started with that goal, despite the end result.
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