Ralf Rangnick 'punishing' Hannibal with return to Man Utd Under-23s

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick is said to have been unimpressed with young Hannibal Mejbri's cameo against Liverpool and responded by sending him back to the Under-23s.

The 19-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in Premier League academy football right now and had been tipped to enjoy plenty of minutes over the remaining games of the season, starting with six as a late substitute in the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool.

Hannibal was praised for his tough-tackling, energetic style, which also saw him handed a yellow card just four minutes after coming on. But while supporters were happy to see the youngster trying to make an impact, ESPN note that Rangnick was thoroughly disappointed.

Rangnick is believed to have spoken to Hannibal about his 'reckless and erratic' performance and did not feel he was ready for a permanent role in the senior side, instead 'punishing' him by sending him back to the Under-23 setup.

The teenager was left out of the squad that lost to Arsenal and was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea, before missing out altogether once again for the 3-0 win over Brentford - for which youngsters Alejandro Garnacho and Alvaro Fernandez made it on to the bench.

As for Hannibal, he has spent his time with Neil Wood's Under-23s, playing 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal and 70 in a 3-1 loss to Liverpool.

Shortly before his controversial cameo against Liverpool, Hannibal spoke to Versus to explain just how much he enjoys playing for United.

"Since the beginning, it’s been the biggest club in the world to me," Hannibal said.

"That meant something crazy. But when I went to the national team with Tunisia and everyone was asking about it, and saying: 'You play for United!', you realise just how big it is. We all know the story of United bringing young players into the first team.

"We know they have made history with it, with the likes of [David] Beckham, Paul Scholes and George Best. Everyone knows it can happen at any moment so we’re ready for it. All of the youth academy players, not just some of us.

"We work hard and wait for our moment, we know it’ll come."

Source : 90min