Manchester United Under-23 boss Neil Wood has warned Hannibal Mejbri has "a long way to go" despite the 17-year-old's stunning display in the EFL Trophy.
Mejbri is considered one of the most exciting prospects at United's Carrington academy and grabbed headlines after his performance against Salford City on Wednesday Night.
Making his first competitive appearance with the U21s, the attacking midfielder scored once and set up two goals for his teammates in the 6-0 rout of the League Two club.
Mejbri's debut heroics led to speculation he may be given opportunities with the senior team, but Wood has cooled expectations of the player on the eve of the new season.
“As much as he is a good player there’s still a long way to go with Hannibal, he’s still got a lot of learning to do, a lot of improving," said Wood.
“You can see the good bits of his play, he’s got great feet, he’s got great vision, he’s tenacious, but there’s still work to be done with him.
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“I wouldn’t get carried away and say he’s going to be in the first team, but he’s willing to work, he’s willing to improve.
"He’s got a very good understanding of the game and a very good understanding of what he needs to get better at as well."
United signed Mejbri from Monaco as a 16-year-old last summer for a fee which could rise to £9.3million.
Wood believes the France U17 star will continue his development with the Under-23s and be given further competitive opportunities in EFL Trophy group games against Rochdale and Morecambe.
“We’re going to keep working with him this season, he’s had a very good pre-season, we’re very pleased with his pre-season, and we’re hoping he can take that into the season ahead," he added.
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