April 29, 2020
Manchester United signed Hannibal Mejbri last summer in a deal with £9.3 million from principality club AS Monaco. He made his debut playing the United’s U18s earlier this season and has also played a handful of matches for the clubs U23s. He is tipped to be a star in the years to come and a player that Monaco will miss.
The 17-year-old seems to be having a great time at United and in training, he is reported to be taking the mickey out of players older than him in training. It was suggested that Mejbri had problems understanding teammates that have Mancunian accents at the club, something he seems to be overcoming and now letting his feet do the talking.
The Athletic, earlier this season, published an article about Mejbri which included some quotes from a source which confirmed that the French teenager has taken the mickey, which was said in a different way, out of some older players in training sessions. He seems to have bags of talent which will help him in his career. The quotes stated:
“He is composed, can go past a player and break a line. He actually takes the mick sometimes against players a couple of years older than him. He’ll feint to strike then drag it and shoot the other way.
“He has trained with the first team when certain groups have been away. Mainly technical stuff, not what you’d class as full training. In his frame, he is still a kid.”
Mejbri has already been compared to United legends Bryan Robson, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane and David Beckham by former United player and Class of 92 graduate, Nicky Butt. The 17-year-old has been dubbed the new Kylian Mbappe because be emanates from the same eastern Parisian suburb as the Paris Saint-Germain forward.
This may be something that could seen far-fetched but this boy has talent. If Butt, the new head of first-team development at United, but was previously the head of the clubs academy, has seen something in him to even compare him to the likes of Robson, Keane, Scholes and Beckham. Coming from the same area as N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and six other FIFA World Cup winners in the France squad.
Mejbri has been predominantly playing for the clubs U18 team this season but has played a few times for the U23s, doing well in the step up. His career path into the first team but be blocked at present, with the fact that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed Bruno Fernandes during the January transfer window, but in the future, there wlll be space for the teenager.
Mejbri will have his work cut out for him in the future, especially whilst being compared to the likes of Robson, Keane, Scholes and Beckham but especially being labelled as the new Mbappe, which could add more weight on his shoulders. His father wanted him to be a lawyer or a doctor, not a footballer but accepts the decision his son made. Lotfi Mejbri said:
“Even if he does [make it as a pro footballer], I do not want him to have a chickpea for a brain in his head.”
It would seen that Mejbri comes from a good family that want the best for him. Obviously, if he fails at football, he might have another path regarding his career, however, he seems too good right now to even suggest he could fail. I have watched this lad all season and there does seem to be something special about him.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeing a close eye on Mejbri and many of his teammates for the rest of the season, if the academy teams continue playing football, and into the new season with an eye to seeing progress and working towards being picked to represent the first team. Solskjaer is an advocate of promoting youth just like Sir Alex Ferguson was. Here is hoping that we see Mejbri in the first team in the not too distant future.