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Manchester United could already have the next Kylian Mbappe within their academy although labels like this could be premature

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.

Kylian Mbappe linked to Manchester United, this summer may be too soon for him

Kylian Mbappe is a player who has seen speculation surrounding him run rife over the last few weeks. The French 18-year-old is certainly a player for the future, maybe even one for the now if you are going to look at his exploits in Ligue 1 for AS Monaco this season, he certainly has developed himself into a fine forward with a lot to offer his club. It is only natural that Mbappe is linked to big clubs, as talent and big clubs seem to make it all work in the favour of the world media, who seem to write endless stories on the player going here, there and everywhere. This season has been a rise to the top for Mbappe, making 36 appearances for Monaco to date; 22 starts and 14 appearances as a substitute. In those 36 matches, the Frenchman has scored 22 goals, assisting in a further five. He has had 65 shots on goal, of which 45 were on target. This means that Mbappe has scored in 61% of his matches played, averaging 1.80 shots per match; 1.25 on target. In terms of shots, 2.95 will be needed to gain Mbappe a goal, statistically, in terms of shots on target, 2.04 will result in a goal. 69% of Mbappe’s shots this season have been on target, with 49% resulting in a goal, which is not bad for the teenager.

What is being reported and by who?

There is a lot currently being reported about Mbappe, whether that links him to Manchester United, or not. The Mirror recently reported that the 18-year-old will be targeted by both United and Arsenal this summer, both teams needing to strengthen their forward line. The Metro have reported that the player has been advised by Radamel Falcao to opt for a La Liga transfer if he wants to leave Monaco. This would be good advice for the teenager as Falcao has endured two tough seasons in the Premier League, failing to make his mark as the prolific striker many thought he was, rekindling that form in Ligue 1 for Monaco this season. Earlier in the week, The Guardian reported that United had a £72 million bid rejected for the player, which was counter-acted by Sky Sports, who said United had not bid on the French player. The Express have reported that the Frenchman has his heart set on a move to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, however, these reports do come from Real Madrid’s mouthpiece, Marca. The Bleacher Report carried a story which came from French outlet Le 10 Sport which states Jorge Mendes was believed to be a mediator in bringing both United and Monaco together in a proposed £80 million deal for the Frenchman. There are plenty of reports, none of which seem to corroborate anything at this moment in time.

What type of player is Kylian Mbappe?

Kylian Mbappe maybe the hottest property in the footballing world right now, but the wrong move could be make or break for his career. Mbappe has been compared, albeit by Arsene Wenger, to Thierry Henry for his style of play. I remember the same being said for Anthony Martial just over a year or so ago now. Henry himself has stated that the player has something special, stating that if he kept his head on his shoulders, everything would come naturally for him. Mbappe has the ability to make a name for himself in the world of football, playing around the last defender, hugging around them ready to break free to get the ball and achieve his shot. Mbappe has had a much rounder game that Henry had at the same stage of his career – he can finish comfortably with both feet, also using his powerful frame to score which his head, which is some great ability at such an early age. Mbappe can beat his man on the dribble also using his strength and pace to his advantage. His movement off the ball is something too, finding gaps with dangerous runs into the box. It is far to see why some of the biggest clubs in the world are looking at Mbappe this summer.

Likelihood of the transfer?

Right now, we are just seeing the recycling of stories day after day. One day linked to United, then Arsenal, then Real Madrid. Your Barcelona’s, Chelsea’s and other clubs will be linked at some point, creating a story, which may not exactly be true, for everyone to read. Then before you know it, the player moves to a completely different club or stays put, then you get the ‘Mbappe snubbed United for Madrid’ stories coming out, despite it probably not being the case. Mbappe, despite being a talent in the game this season, at 18 it would be a big surprise for him to leave Monaco. They have a great player in their ranks and cashing in on his could hamper his entire career, especially if he goes to a league that he will have trouble breaking into. The Premier League is tough. Anthony Martial had a great first season, but this season has not been the same for him, which may not all be down to the league with his personal life seeing its fair share of troubles. Mbappe, should he be the type of player that would be clouded by the fee paid, which could stretch to €100 million or more, that could hamper him too as the media would have their attention surrounding him for every minute, knocking him when he does not achieve. If I was Kylian Mbappe, I would not make a rash decision to move this summer, at 18, his development needs to continue, it might in a tough league, but if it doesn’t, his entire future in the game could be at risk.

copyright: JW