By Daniel Feliciano

12th Mar, 2022 | 4:00pm

Manchester United already have their Paul Pogba replacement in Hannibal Mejbri

It seems to be somewhat of an open secret that Paul Pogba will be leaving Manchester United on a free transfer when his contract expires in the summer.

At one point the world’s most expensive player, the French World Cup winner is expected to sign a deal elsewhere come the end of the season although his current club are keen on him re-signing with them too.

If he were to leave, it would be yet another position in the squad in which the club need to seek reinforcements. Or would they?

The Carrington Academy is regarded as one of the very best in the world and helped to develop Pogba as a youngster before he left the club the first time around.

Now they have amazing talents such as Shola Shoretire, Zidane Iqbal, Ethan Laird, Tahith Chong and James Garner chomping at the bit to get into the first-team, but one man is already there.

After his exploits in the Arab Cup with Tunisia, Ralf Rangnick made it a point to namecheck Hannibal Mejbri as one for the future that he would bringing into the first-team fold immediately.

The 19-year-old has featured on the substitutes bench since returning from the African Cup of Nations but is yet to play in the first team this season, but it’s clear that his future is seen as a bright one.

Able to play as a central midfielder, attacking midfielder or a winger, his versatility is similar to Pogba’s. He also has some similar attributes to the superstar midfielder, not least the crazy hairstyle.

He is an excellent dribbler of the ball, with a fantastic ability to shield the ball from his opponents while his eye for a pass is among the very best of the young players in Europe. He’s not bad in the final third either, having notched six goals and 16 assists in the 2020/21 season with the Under-23s.

While he’s obviously not ready to walk into the starting lineup and replace someone like Pogba immediately, the club don’t need to spend millions signing someone who is.

With Donny Van de Beek, Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Scott McTominay there are enough senior options available to make up for his absence, with any extra minutes going towards the former Monaco sensation to develop him into what many fans hoped Pogba could’ve been when he signed back in 2016.

In other Football Wonderkids news, Leeds’ young talents have already benefitted from Marcelo Bielsa’s sacking