Hannibal Mejbri: The Birmingham loanee can help the Tunisian midfielder improve

Hannibal Mejbri awaits his first start for Birmingham City

Hannibal Mejbri’s loan spell with Championship side Birmingham City will benefit Tunisia, according to national team coach Jalel Kadri.

The Manchester United teenage midfielder, who already has 18 caps for the Carthage Eagles, is expected to be part of his country’s World Cup squad in November.

Playing as many games as possible for John Eustace’s side is a wise move, says Kadri, because a lack of playing time at Old Trafford could have hampered his chances of going to Qatar.

“A young player with great potential, he is very lucky,” Kadri told BBC Arabic.

We hoped that he would continue to play at Manchester United for his own benefit and for the good of the national team, but this is professional football.

“Birmingham is a great club with a heritage and the Championship is distinguished by its physical and technical level. We believe that Hannibal has made a positive choice in his professional career.”

Mejbri made his United debut in the final game of the 2020-21 season at Wolves in May last year, then made two more Premier League appearances last season in a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool and a 1-0 defeat by Crystal Palace.

The 19-year-old went on United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia but was left out of the opening four league games of the new season before choosing a loan route at St Andrew’s.

He has made six substitute appearances since joining the Blues – a club where England international Jude Bellingham made his senior debut aged 16 years and 38 days before. joining Germany’s Borussia Dortmund in July 2020.

Regular chances with the Blues earned him brief appearances off the bench for Tunisia in the two friendlies against Comoros and Brazil last month.

And his national team manager believes Mejbri is on the right track.

“What matters is the choices Hannibal and his club make to get him better,” Kadri added.

“His improvement would not be possible if he continues at Manchester United, as he will not play as much as possible to improve, so it was the best option for him.”

Samba lesson for Tunisia

Neymar and Dylan Bronn in action in the friendly between Brazil and Tunisia
Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar scored as Brazil crushed Tunisia last month, with Dylan Bronn (right) sent off just before half-time.

Meanwhile, former Tunisia captain Radhi Jaidi said the Carthage Eagles will learn from last month’s heavy loss to Brazil.

The North Africans, who will meet France, Australia and Denmark in Qatar, were beaten 5-1 by the five-time World Cup winners on September 27 in Paris.

“They were regularly exposed against Brazil. It’s a big test for our young players on the pitch because they certainly benefited from playing in front of 40-45,000 spectators and against a big team,” the 47-year-old told BBC Sport Africa.

“It gives them a good idea of ​​what to expect in Qatar which will be quite similar or maybe stronger, so it gives them a great idea of ​​how to prepare.”

Jaidi represented his country between 1996 and 2009, winning the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil before establishing himself in England by becoming a fan favorite at Bolton, Birmingham City and Southampton.

Having played at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, the former defender knows what it takes for his country to navigate a tough group and reach the round of 16.

“For sure, we need to improve in attack and our scoring chances,” he added.

“We won’t have many chances against these big teams, so half a chance will have to be in the net if you want to go to the second round.

“Obviously, our aim is to go to the second round, so we have to improve in the attacking part to score goals. And even if we concede one goal, we should score two goals – that’s my thinking.

“I’m pretty optimistic about this team. But we have to work on our game management and then definitely take chances.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *