Hannibal Mejbri
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Why Did Manchester United Allow Alvaro Fernandez & Hannibal Mejbri To Leave?

Manchester United have allowed Hannibal Mejbri to go on loan to Sevilla until the end of this season, but there is every expectation the Tunisian will sign for the Spanish club on a permanent deal. Mejbri had two options within this window in regards to leaving the Manchester club, with Everton also showing Premier League interest in the player.

United had initially not inserted a buy-back clause in the deal, but INEOS swooped in before it was completed and put one into the contract. This came after a verbal agreement between the two clubs. The former Birmingham loanee was valued highly internally by the likes of technical director Darren Fletcher, but the decision has now been made and he has already landed in Sevilla to join his new club.

Alvaro Fernandez was also allowed to leave the club on a loan deal, which prompted several questions amongst the fan base at the club. There is also a buy-option clause in the contract of the Spaniard, but the deal initially looked to be permanent. It’s thought that INEOS had to step in again to try and salvage something for the Reds out of the deal, but the question remains as to why the best youth prospects are being sold by the club.

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Hannibal Mejbri They’ll Regret It?

There were initial signs Mejbri looked to be part of Erik ten Hag’s plans this season. A goal against Brighton, followed by a positive quote pointed towards the player felt like it was the beginning of a run in the first team for the midfielder. Unfortunately, ever since, he has started the majority of the games on the bench, struggling to break into the first team.

“I think he gives a very good message to the rest of the squad, that this is the demand and this has to be the standard.”

Erik ten Hag on Hannibal Mejbri.

Mejbri has talent. It would be foolish to suggest he doesn’t possess qualities that a top team could do with. It’s unlikely Liverpool would have sold someone like Mejbri if they had him in their squad at this moment in time, so how come Manchester United are? What makes them so certain of this sale, especially at a time like this when the current midfield is not showing anywhere near enough every week?

Hanibal Mejbri
Hannibal Mejbri – Sevilla

Manchester United have made a lot of bad decisions over the years regarding academy prospects, but these two decisions, in particular, are a bit different than the rest due to the fact INEOS have had a say in them.

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Hannibal was purchased for around £9million in 2020 from Monaco, as one of the most highly rated players in the world at this age. He now leaves Manchester United for just a potential £11million more. Do the Reds have a plan in place? Or is this just another academy blunder they’ll go on to rue in years to come?

Don’t Sell Youth To Benfica:

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The mantra nowadays is if Benfica want to sign your young players, you don’t sell your young players. Enzo Fernandez is a major example of that, with the former River Plate midfielder being bought by the Portuguese club for £17million and eventually being sold for £105million less than a year later. Manchester United may be about to make a less costly, but similar mistake when it comes to Alvaro Fernandez.

With Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia in the squad, Fernandez could not be promised game time at present. Luke Shaw’s injury record would suggest he wouldn’t have to wait long to be given the starting spot at the club, but it’s a chance United have decided against affording him.

Manchester United fans will be fully expecting to see the former Real Madrid academy graduate be sold for £50m or more in the next few years, should Benfica choose to activate the buy option in the deal. It almost seems set in stone for him to return to Madrid within the next five years.

Harry Amass & Isak Hansen-Aarøen:

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One reason Manchester United could have let Alvaro Fernandez and Hannibal Mejbri go happily is due to two players currently making their way through the academy at this moment in time. Harry Amass is looking like a near-carbon copy of Luke Shaw for United’s U18s at the moment, and Isak Hansen-Aarøen’s quality has been evident for some time.

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This is likely the reason both players have been allowed to leave willingly. Hansen-Aarøen is regarded as one of the best players in his age group, and United scouted Harry Amass, particularly last summer to come in and possibly have a future at the club.

Harry Amass
Harry Amass – Manchester United U18s

Alvaro Fernandez and Hannibal’s inclusion in the squad going forward may have blocked opportunities for Hansen-Aarøen and Amass, and the club may be more willing to allow the other two players to leave. Utd District recently reported that there were positive movements in the contract discussions between the Reds and the Norweigian Hansen-Aarøen, which coincided with United’s decision to allow Mejbri to leave on loan.

The eyes will now turn to the coming months, and more precisely the beginning of next season to see if either of these players begin to be integrated into the first-team, or whether more and more of these mistakes continue to be made by Manchester United.

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