Manchester United starlet Hannibal Mejbri will be seriously injured unless referees act to protect him, warns Under-23s boss Neil Wood.
Mejbri, 18, was due to link up with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's senior squad but has seen his promotion to the first team delayed by a number of injuries.
The midfielder has shone in Premier League 2 this season – picking up three goals and five assists – despite the rough treatment he receives from opposition defenders.
Mejbri has already sustained ankle and shoulder complaints this month and Wood has warned a serious injury is imminent if the teenager's lack of protection by match officials continues.
"The frustrating point for Hannibal is that there must be about 15 fouls on him per game and at some point if it’s not stopped, or if the referee is not protecting him, he’s going to get his leg broken," said the U23 boss. "That’s what I fear for him."
The Red Devils are yet to discover the full extent of the shoulder injury Mejbri sustained against Arsenal U23 last Friday.
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The France youth international has been tipped for great things at Old Trafford and will hope to join the senior squad soon.
Solskjaer confirmed last week that he would be making the leap to the first team.
"We’ve moved Shola [Shoretire] up with us. Hannibal [Mejbri] will join us and we will keep them with us for a while," said the Norwegian.
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"It’s the next step in their development, we’ve got to take the hit that when they play for the reserves they have to travel by themselves.
"It’s a nice step for them, they’ve done really well."
United signed Mejbri from Monaco in the summer of 2019 after agreeing an initial £4million fee which could rise to £9.1million with add-ons.
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