Ralf outlines plans for Hannibal
Ralf Rangnick has confirmed Hannibal is being promoted to the first-team squad for the rest of the season.
The midfielder, who turned 19 last month, has returned from Africa Cup of Nations duty with Tunisia and is set to be included in the matchday squad for Friday's Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie with Middlesbrough at Old Trafford.
It represents another important step in the youngster's development after he made his senior Reds debut in the final 2020/21 Premier League game at Wolves.
Hannibal has been accruing more experience with Tunisia as, after helping them reach the Arab Cup final, he was part of the Africa Cup of Nations squad that made it to the quarter-finals of the tournament, before losing 1-0 to Burkina Faso.
And our interim manager believes the time is right to integrate him into the first-team group with seven games coming up in February alone.
"We have Hannibal included in the squad," Ralf told MUTV's Stewart Gardner in an exclusive interview on Friday. "He will, from now on, regularly train with us and be a regular member of the squad. He will also be part of the squad for tomorrow’s cup game.
"To be honest, I haven’t seen that much of him as he was with the national team," he replied, when asked if he'd been impressed in training. "I saw him play in the tournament, not the Africa Cup of Nations but the one before [the Arab Cup].
"I saw him play in the final and, from what I’ve seen so far, I think he’s a promising talent. He deserves to be part of the group for the rest of the season and also part of the group for tomorrow’s game.”
Rangnick also confirmed Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jadon Sancho are all back in contention for the Middlesbrough match.
Paul Pogba is available, as well, and is a strong contender to start in midfield against the Championship side.