Manchester United boss Rangnick praises 'highly-talented' Tunisian ahead of Afcon tourney

hannibal mejbri - tunisia - arab cup 2021getty images

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has given Tunisia's Hannibal Mejbri a morale-boosting assessment ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

The Carthage Eagles are set to participate in the tournament that will be held in Cameroon early next year and Rangnick, who could miss the youngster, has hope the 18-year-old will be a regular member of Manchester United's first team in the near future.

"Hannibal was here training for the first time since I arrived having just come back from the Arab Cup," Rangnick told the club's portal.

"Unfortunately for us and for him, he will be missing out [with us] again in January because of the Africa Cup of Nations.

"I watched the final before his substitution and I’m fully aware that we have another good, highly-talented player coming from our youth ranks and hopefully after the Africa Cup of Nations he can regularly train and be part of our group."

The Tunisian has played 33 games for Man United's U23 side where he has contributed to 20 goals.

Hannibal's academy teammates Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal were given minutes during their Champions League game against Young Boys and Rangnick has explained how the youngsters can rise and be great stars.

"I think since the Busby Babes this has always been part of the DNA of the club and the same was true under Sir Alex Ferguson in those 27 years," the manager added.

"It’s not only about youth, it’s about being talented and having the right personality and mentality and if those things come together then of course I want to play as many of those young players as possible. 

"We had three, four or five of them in our squad already and for me, it’s important to develop those players."

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Apart from Hannibal, Eric Bailly is another Manchester United player who is expected to be part of the Afcon tournament after he was named in Ivory Coast's squad.

If Bailly and Hannibal finally join their international teammates, then they will not face Wolves, Aston Villa, West Ham and Burnley in the Premier League and Aston Villa in the FA Cup third-round tie on January, 10.