Matic excited to see Hannibal grow
The departing Nemanja Matic will still have his eye on Manchester United in the coming seasons as he keeps tabs on the progress of exciting fellow midfielder Hannibal.
The Tunisia international, who represented the Eagles of Carthage at the 2021 Arab Cup and this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, has been a regular at first-team training since returning from the latter tournament in Cameroon.
He made his second senior appearance for the Reds with a cameo performance in defeat at Liverpool last month and will no doubt be hoping for more minutes under Erik ten Hag once the Dutchman takes charge at Old Trafford.
Matic, who has announced he will leave the Reds after five years’ service, rates the 19-year-old highly and is looking forward to seeing how he develops.
“I have to say that Hannibal is a fantastic player [and a] great character,” Matic said in an exclusive farewell interview covering his United career.
“The talent he has, he needs to use that. I really want to see him in the future and how he will grow.”
Hannibal has been included in four of United’s last seven matchday squads by Ralf Rangnick, as he gains experience alongside fellow young prospects Alejandro Garnacho, Alvaro Fernandez and Shola Shoretire.
Matic sees that as fully deserved, given the teenager’s potential, and he hopes last season’s Under-23s Player of the Year can make a sustained United breakthrough next term as everyone at the club looks ahead to a new era.
“I hope so [to see him get more minutes],” the Serbian added.
“I think that every time I see him in training, he surprises me with his quality, he’s still young, but I’m very excited.
“I really want to see how he’s growing and improving.”