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Man Utd youngster Hannibal ´enormously happy´ for Rashford after upturn in form

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Dec 2022

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Marcus Rashford “deserves everything that’s happening now”, according to Manchester United team-mate Hannibal Mejbri.

After a difficult 2021-22 campaign, Rashford started this season strongly, and has carried that form into the World Cup with England in Qatar, where he has hit three goals.

The 25-year-old scored just five times in 32 Premier League games last season for United, but already has eight goals in 19 appearances in 2022-23.

Hannibal – who is spending the season on loan at Championship club Birmingham City – had also been playing at the World Cup with Tunisia, who were eliminated in the group stage.

Speaking to Stats Perform, the 19-year-old praised Rashford as a player and a person, with the United forward engaging in significant charitable work over recent years.

“I’m enormously happy because when I was at Manchester United, that’s when he [had] a bit of a struggle, but he never let up,” Hannibal said.

“He’s a very good guy and he deserves everything that’s happening now and he’s worked tremendously hard for it, so I’m very happy for him.”

Hannibal joined United from Monaco in 2019 for a fee of around £8million (€10m), and made two appearances for the first-team last season.

The midfielder described what it was like coming in to the Red Devils’ academy when he first arrived, in particular the difficulty of doing so with a sizeable fee having been paid.

“It’s very difficult when you come into a youth dressing room with a €10m price tag,” he said. “You go into the dressing room, everyone judges you.

“But after a training session or two, you show your qualities and everyone accepts you. So that’s how it is and that’s football now, you have to put aside what people think of you, work, stay focused.”

United head coach Erik ten Hag has made an impressive start to life at Old Trafford, and despite being out on loan, Hannibal confirmed the Dutchman has been keeping an eye on his progress.

“The staff, the technical staff always stay informed with us, the players on loan,” he said. “So yes, if you do something bad, he tells you, if you do something good he congratulates you too. So yes, he stays in touch and it’s a great pleasure.”

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