Valencia wants to see more of Hannibal

Saturday 11 June 2022 07:00

Antonio Valencia believes new Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag will be keen to have a look at some of the younger talents in the squad, including Tunisia international Hannibal.

The 19-year-old midfielder made his first senior start in the final-day clash at Crystal Palace, coming close to scoring with a shot from the edge of the box, and will be determined to push on and impress the incoming manager.

Valencia was certainly an admirer of the way Hannibal battled in defeat at Liverpool when coming on as a substitute, posting on Twitter to express his appreciation of such tenacity, even if it did overstep the mark when he picked up a yellow card.

Before Valencia returned to Old Trafford to take part in the Legends of the North game against Liverpool, we caught up with the Ecuadorian to discover his thoughts on the youth available to Ten Hag, once he considers his squad to embark on Tour 2022.

Hannibal is clearly one option but the Dutchman will be assessing all of the players at his disposal when plotting his plans for the upcoming campaign, both domestically and in the Europa League.

"I know his football and how well he has performed at Ajax," the South American told us about Ten Hag. "I am sure that with a full pre-season, he is going to be able to share his football with the players, and, all together, they will be able to make the fans happy.

"It is also great that he has previously worked with young talent, as we have a lot in our current squad.

"I loved Hannibal's personality and his will to win tackles. He came on the pitch at Anfield with the idea of giving everything, and it should have been that way for everyone since the start of the game. He is a kid with great talent and I hope to see more of him soon."

Antonio Valencia looks like he means business when returning to Old Trafford.

Changes are obviously afoot with several senior players leaving the club but there is real hope for the future that members of the FA Youth Cup-winning side will continue their progress by moving into Premier League 2 football.

"United has always worked very well with its Academy," explained Valencia. "It all depends on the trust that the new manager will give them as I am sure we have some great talents.

"I know the players who are leaving all very well, Paul [Pogba] since he was a little boy. I hope they will be happy, also outside Manchester, as they have really given their all for the club and deserve the best as they are great human beings."