Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag had high praise for young midfielder Hannibal Mejbri following his standout performance in the team’s 1-0 win against Burnley.
Mejbri, aged 20, had been linked with a summer transfer away from the club but opted to stay and compete for a spot in the first team after discussions with Ten Hag. He made a significant impression in the previous weekend’s 3-1 defeat against Brighton, scoring as a substitute, which earned him a starting role against Burnley.
Facing mounting injury concerns, Ten Hag positioned Mejbri as a No.10 in the 1-0 victory at Turf Moor, sealed by Bruno Fernandes’ stunning volley. The Dutch manager was visibly impressed by the performance of the former Monaco prodigy.
Speaking after the match, Ten Hag told TNT Sports: “Of course it’s a concern. You have so many injuries, you have a problem in the routine of your game. You bring players in, they are new – like Reguilon, like Hojlund – and you can’t ease them into the team’s routines. They are not accustomed to playing together, unlike Hannibal, who did a perfect job.”
Mejbri, having demonstrated his potential against Brighton and Burnley, will be eager for more opportunities in the first team. Despite strong interest from Sevilla and Turkish clubs, he remained committed to staying and playing at Old Trafford.
Previously, it appeared that Mejbri might be on the brink of departing the club following a training ground altercation with Alex Telles in the summer of 2022. There were even recent speculations that Ten Hag might consider moving Mejbri, similar to how he dealt with Telles, who joined Al-Nassr.
However, the latest indications strongly suggest that Mejbri is set to stay and play a significant role in Ten Hag’s squad, especially after the manager’s glowing remarks following Saturday night’s pivotal win at Turf Moor.
The match also featured other players who are not typically considered first-team regulars, including deadline-day signings Sergio Reguilon and Jonny Evans. Ten Hag is contending with a multitude of influential players missing due to injury, such as Luke Shaw, Mason Mount, and Lisandro Martinez.
Despite the growing injury list, Ten Hag refused to use it as an excuse for United’s recent challenges, emphasizing the importance of focusing on the available players and delivering results with the given lineup.