Hannibal Mejbri’s Recent Performances Raise Questions at Man United – Opinion
Hannibal Mejbri’s journey at Manchester United has been filled with ups and downs in recent weeks. Initially overlooked, the promising young playmaker has now secured a prominent role under Erik ten Hag.
After returning from a loan spell at Birmingham City in the second tier, there were speculations that the 20-year-old might be loaned out again during the summer, especially after failing to make the matchday squad for the season’s opening games.
However, due to several absences in Manchester, Mejbri got his opportunity off the bench against Brighton and Hove Albion, making the most of it by scoring a remarkable first goal for the club from long range.
He followed it up with another impressive performance starting against Burnley, earning high praise from Ten Hag.
Nevertheless, the recent Carabao Cup win over Crystal Palace highlighted areas where Mejbri can improve.
He didn’t have the same influence on the game as he did against Burnley. He made only 28 passes during the match, fewer than his teammate Andre Onana (31).
Mejbri also failed to create a key pass or complete a successful dribble, resulting in a match rating of 6.4, the lowest among starting players for United according to Sofascore.
While Mejbri’s commitment off the ball and pressing efforts were commendable, he received an early yellow card due to overeager challenges.
His four fouls throughout the game raised concerns about potential suspensions, which Ten Hag cannot afford amidst other selection challenges.
Surprisingly, United faces Crystal Palace again at Old Trafford this weekend. Despite his recent energetic performances, Mejbri might be excluded from the starting lineup, especially with Bruno Fernandes likely to return to the playmaking role.
Bruno Fernandes is a crucial creative force for United, and getting him back in his preferred central position is essential.
Mejbri’s versatility allows him to play a deeper role alongside Casemiro, but with Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat back in action, Ten Hag might prefer more senior options in midfield.
While benching the academy graduate might seem harsh, it’s apparent that Mejbri didn’t do enough in the recent match to secure another start against Crystal Palace.