April 23, 2024

In the fourth round of the FA Cup, Manchester United easily defeated Championship Reading 3-1 to keep up their outstanding run toward four trophies this season under new manager Erik ten Hag.

The sole negative on the evening was Christian Eriksen’s ankle injury as a result of Andy Caroll’s horrifying two-footed lunge from behind. Caroll would later be dismissed for another similarly heinous attack on Casemiro.

United fans are right to be concerned about Eriksen’s potential absence from the team over the upcoming vital stretch of games after seeing him hobbling on crutches after the game.

Ten Hag will have to more frequently rely on the talents of Fred and Scott McTominay, two players with no shortage of football ability but who do not match Eriksen’s profile on the field, if the Danish midfielder faces a protracted period of injury.

However, should they choose to take it, there may well be an in-house solution available to the Red Devils before the January deadline.

Hannibal Mejbri is having a stellar season at Birmingham City.

The Tunisian International was instrumental in earning his side a fourth-round replay during City’s 2-2 stalemate against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup, grabbing the assist for substitute Jordan James’s injury time equaliser, after securing the ball in midfield, skipping past a challenge, and playing a lovely pull-back towards the edge of the area.

Mejbri has been played in a more defensive midfield role than his preferred roaming play-maker position, which has had an impact on his usually excellent passing metrics, with the 20 year old making just 0.9 key passes per game according to Whoscored.

After winning the ball in midfield, eluding a challenge, and playing a lovely pull-back towards the edge of the area, the Tunisian international was crucial in earning his side a fourth-round replay during City’s 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup. He provided the assist for substitute Jordan James’ injury time equalizer.

Last year, after a devastating 4-1 loss to Brighton, Hannibal courted controversy when he got into a fight with Brazilian full-back Alex Telles on the practice field. However, Troy Deeney, the captain of Birmingham, said on Ben Foster’s podcast that Hannibal has improved greatly since then.

The Man United boys are always the best, according to Deeney, 34. I say it all the time. I’m not sure if it’s the Fergie era or the grounding that’s still going on.

They are never impolite, they are always on time, and they constantly want to do more. It has an old-fashioned, “Shut up and follow directions” vibe about it.

Other clubs, not really.

Depending on how severe the injury was, it may take five weeks to several months for an ankle sprain to heal.

Recalling Hannibal from his loan could be a smart move for both the club and the player, given the Glazer’s current reluctance to approve new acquisitions and the prospect of a sale.

Mejbri checks many boxes for Manchester United in midfield. He is a highly skilled midfielder who is incredibly press-resistant, has terrific pace, agility, and an excellent work ethic.

They might possibly find that a recall from loan is what they require right now to settle their problems in the middle of the park.

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