Who is new Scunthorpe signing Yasin Ben El-Mhanni?

The Iron have signed free agent Yasin Ben El-Mhanni on a deal until the end of the season.

The winger has been training with the club over the last couple of weeks, following a recent trial with Championship side Brentford.

But how has the 23-year-old ended up signing for United?

Early years

In his early years, El-Mhanni was a keen futsal player, growing up on the streets of London. He then joined the AG Academy, before his talent was quickly recognised by Barnet.

Following his spell as a youth with the Bees, the winger shortly moved on to complete his youth career with Aldershot Town.

In order to gain first-team football, the attacker dropped down into the Isthmian League in 2015, where he represented Farnborough and then followed that up with a spell at Lewes.

It was during this time that the youngster made a name for himself as a Youtube star, as videoes of him performing his tricks were watched in huge numbers across the world.

The videos led to him showing off his skills for the company Sports on Screen where he, remarkably, acted as a body double and skill consultant to world superstars, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.

The winger was dubbed the ‘non-league Riyad Mahrez’, due to his style of play, trickery on the ball, and his Moroccan heritage.

Here he is showing off some of his skills:

Big break

El-Mhanni, through his videos, had developed a reputation for himself by this point, and several clubs were interested in his services.

He undertook a number of trials with Premier League clubs between 2015 and 2016, which included the likes of Crystal Palace, West Brom and even Chelsea.

During his time with Chelsea, the winger notched a goal on his reserve team debut and trained under former Blues boss Guus Hiddink – but he failed to earn a contract with the club.

However, Newcastle United did take a gamble on El-Mhanni in the summer of 2016. He made his debut for the Magpies in a third round FA Cup tie against Birmingham City in 2017, in which he played 70 minutes in a 3-1 victory.

In the following round of the competition, the winger was again given an opportunity in the side, but they fell to defeat against Oxford United and were subsequently knocked out.

That would be the last time that El-Mhanni would feature for the Newcastle first-team, but he was a regular for the U23’s side.

Here is a video of him in action:

Earlier this year, the attacker lodged a complaint against academy coach and club legend, Peter Beardsley, accusing him of bullying and discrimination.

After being put on gardening leave by the club, an independent appeal body found that Beardsley had used discriminatory language and conducted himself in a generally unfair manner towards El-Mhanni.

At the end of the season, the winger was informed that his contract would not be renewed by the Geordies.

Arrival at Scunthorpe

Following his release from Newcastle at the end of the season, El-Mhanni recently had a trial with Championship side Brentford.

However, the 23-year-old, whose birthday it was yesterday, has been training with the Iron over the last couple of weeks and has now signed a contract with the club until the end of the season.

The attacker will now be looking to get his career back on track with United and should be a good addition to Stuart McCall’s side.

El-Mhanni is a two-footed winger, who is full of tricks and loves a free-kick. Hopefully, he will be pushing for a starting berth with the Iron before too long.

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Written by James Murray

Aspiring journalist and Scunthorpe United fan studying at the London South Bank University.


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Iron sign free agent Ben El-Mhanni

El-Mhanni is “absolutely buzzing” to have joined the Iron