New Man Utd signing Hannibal Mejbri struggling to understand Manc team-mates but thrilled to join idol Paul Pogba


HANNIBAL MEJBRI has admitted he is struggling to understand his new United team-mates’ Mancunian accents.

The big-haired central midfielder, 16, reckons he has landed in a city that “lives and breathes” football.

Paul Pogba has been hailed as a shining light by French teen sensation Hannibal Mejbri
Hannibal is the latest in a long line of Frenchmen to play for Manchester United
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Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial are already acting as mentors to the former Monaco ace, who left because of a dispute with the Ligue 1 club.

Mejbri also joins fellow French teenager Noam Emeran, who signed for United in July and plays as a forward.

He said told Le Parisien: “We share the same training facilities and the gym as the 1st team, I am going to often be able to rub shoulders with Pogba and Martial.

“With the youth team, there is also Noam Emeran. We were together at Clairefontaine.

“I spoke to him on the phone, he told me: ‘It is really great here, come!’

“His presence is going to help me to integrate quicker.

“Aliou Traore has also been here for two years, he will be able to share his experiences with me and advise me.”

The player’s parents were unhappy with what they claim were “broken promises” from Monaco, which opened the door for United.

A big sell for both Mejbri and Emeran have been the club’s long-standing tradition of bringing through top young players — and they are benefiting from the ground work put in by Nicky Butt.

Mason Greenwood came off the bench to play in the 4-0 win over Chelsea
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Hannibal joins French recruit Noam Emeran in the squad

The sight of the likes of Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes in the first team squad will give him confidence, and Butt’s job is now to get them ready for first-team football.

Hannibal said: “On the pitch, you just have to speak football. And off of it, there is the language, but that I will just have to learn.

“Their accent is a bit difficult, but I have started well in English so it should be fine.

“I will also have to get used to the climate. But we feel that Manchester is a town that eats and breathes football, it is lovely.”

United’s Under-18s take on Wolves on Saturday after beating Sunderland 3-0 in the first game of the Under-18 Premier League season.

They have such an embarrassment of riches, that Mason Greenwood, who came on as a sub in the 4-0 win over Chelsea, could play.

Asked who his United idols are, Mejbri said: “There is of course Pogba. In terms of the older ones, Ronaldo, Beckham and Cantona.

“When I went to Manchester, all that people would talk to me about was him.

“Over there, he is considered a king, whilst in France, he does not possess the same aura.”


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