Rangnick: Hannibal will be part of our group
Ralf Rangnick is looking forward to making Hannibal a regular part of the first-team squad before the end of the season.
The young midfielder was back in Manchester United training on Thursday after a time away from the club representing his country, Tunisia, at the FIFA Arab Cup.
With a couple of Man-of-the-Match awards under his belt, Hannibal helped the Eagles of Carthage to the final of the tournament, where they were unfortunately beaten in extra-time by Algeria.
The 18-year-old is now set for another spell with his nation as they compete in January’s Africa Cup of Nations.
“We had 25 players in on Thursday and the only one missing was Paul Pogba,” Rangnick told club media this week.
“Hannibal was here training for the first time since I arrived having just come back from the Arab Cup.
“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.”
It’s a fine achievement for a player of Hannibal’s age to already be playing an important role at senior international tournaments.
Rangnick has already shown his commitment to promoting talented Academy prospects, having handed debuts to Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal in this month’s UEFA Champions League match against BSC Young Boys.
Teden Mengi, Shola Shoretire and Anthony Elanga all made appearances in that game, too.
“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,” Rangnick explained.
From the Academy to EuropeGallery
Check out these brilliant photos of United's Academy stars who featured in Wednesday's clash with Young Boys.