Manchester United Gearing Up for Galatasaray Clash: Why Hannibal Mejbri Deserves a Start
As Manchester United prepares to face Turkish side Galatasaray at Old Trafford later today, there’s a player who should be in the starting lineup: Hannibal Mejbri.
Hannibal Mejbri has emerged as an unexpected savior for Erik ten Hag in recent weeks. Since his spectacular goal against Brighton last month, Hannibal has become a regular presence in the team.
During his time as a regular starter, United secured victories against Burnley and Crystal Palace, breaking a three-game losing streak. However, Hannibal was notably absent in the recent loss, raising questions about the decision.
While it might seem like a coincidence, there are compelling reasons to reinstate the 20-year-old Tunisian in the starting XI for the Champions League clash against Galatasaray.
- Hannibal’s Exceptional Decision-Making
Following the 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday, Ten Hag expressed frustration with the decision-making of some players, particularly Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes.
Hannibal stands out in this regard, having demonstrated this season that his football IQ is remarkable, making the right decisions consistently. His ability to read the game and choose the best course of action is evident.
In a recent match, he showcased his understanding of the game by forming a strong partnership with Anthony Martial, another astute footballer.
- The Bruno and Mount Midfield Dilemma
The combination of Bruno Fernandes and Mason Mount in midfield has proven ineffective in the early weeks of the season. Despite this, Ten Hag has persisted with this pairing.
One way to enhance United’s control of the game and improve possession is by deploying Hannibal in midfield, shifting either Mount or Bruno to the right side. Hannibal’s tenacity, press resistance, and ability to disrupt opponents’ defensive lines with precise passes and runs make him an ideal choice for this role.
This tactical adjustment was evident in a recent match and could address the shortcomings of the Bruno-Mount midfield pairing.
- Hannibal’s Energy and Defensive Contribution
Facing an unbeaten Galatasaray side that has won nine of their last 10 games, Manchester United needs players who can match their tenacity and speed in midfield.
Hannibal’s relentless work rate and determination to regain possession will be crucial in combating Galatasaray’s quick transitions. He excels in this aspect and has earned recognition for his incredible work ethic.
In a previous season, while on loan, Hannibal even broke records for the total distance covered. His presence will be vital against midfielders like Lucas Torreira and Keres Demirbay, and he will rely on the support of Casemiro and Sofyan Amrabat to prevent quick counterattacks that could lead to goals by players like Wilfried Zaha.