Manchester United have produced some exceptional talents in the past from their youth system. Some players get the opportunity to play in the first team, while others are sent on loan spells and shown the exit door. The change in system and managers in the last few years has affected the game time of these young players. However, there are still a few players who are capable enough to make the first team.
One such talent is 20-year-old Tunisian attacking midfielder Hannibal Mejbri. A bright talent in Tunisian football, Mejbri already has around 25 appearances for the national team. Last season he was on loan at Birmingham City in the EFL Championship, and this season he is in Manchester United’s first team. Let’s look at the player’s stats that might have impressed the Dutch manager.
First spell in the Championship
Hannibal Mejbri spent the entire 2022–23 season in the EFL Championship. He played 38 games for Birmingham City and scored one goal for the club. The 20-year-old is a versatile midfielder with an attacking mindset and can play various positions.
The shot map shows that Mejbri only took 14 attempts, with most of them coming from outside the penalty box. He scored a long-range effort in Birmingham’s win over West Brom.
The most impressive thing about this Tunisian youngster was his ability to create goals for his teammates. Hannibal Mejbri contributed five assists for the season. He provided 32 shot assists, with a few coming from corners and other set-pieces. Mejbri averaged 27 passes per 90 minutes in the entire season but had a low accuracy rate of 73.6%. He even attempted 2.4 passes per 90 minutes into the opposition penalty box and had a 42% accuracy rate.
The versatility of the player allowed him to make progress from both sides of the field. By looking at the progressive runs graphic, we can observe that the 20-year-old likes to carry the ball towards the centre. Most of these runs are diagonal, and the player had a decent dribble success rate of 56%. Another interesting thing about the player is that these dribbles often led to fouls. With players like Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford in the team, these free-kicks could become an asset for them to create and score goals.
A bright start in 2023-24
Hannibal finally got a chance in the current campaign. Erik ten Hag introduced the youngster against Brighton in Manchester United’s recent loss. Mejbri made his fourth appearance in the Premier League and scored his first goal for the senior team. A long-range effort ended in the back of the net as a consolation goal. He even attempted six passes and had a 100% accuracy rate.
The manager and the fans will be delighted to see their young talent grow. Hannibal Mejbri will also look for more opportunities in the future and try to cement his place in the squad.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine