Last night, a Teden Mengi debut offered Manchester United fans a glimpse into the future. After the game, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bigged up the Mancunian.
Giving youngsters a chance is in United’s DNA. Credit where it’s due, the Baby Faced Assassin has given eight debuts this term. Last night, it was Mengi’s turn.
The centre-back, from Manchester, has been mightily impressing at youth level this season and it was excellent to see him included in the Red Devils’ Europa League squad.
I actually thought he’d start last night but in the end, Mengi had to settle for minutes as a second-half substitute. After the game, the centre-back took to Twitter to proudly react to making his first Reds appearance.
Then, while live on BT Sport, Solskjaer predicted big things for the 18-year-old United starlet, labelling him ‘someone we believe in’.
This is definitely high praise indeed. I vaguely remember Solskjaer saying something similar about a certain Mason Greenwood, and look how that’s working out…
Mengi looks like someone who has the potential to partner Harry Maguire at the heart of our defence. Sure, it’s tough to gauge how quickly he’ll develop, but he looks like an outstanding talent.
I said it earlier, but it’s a shame there’s no pre-season tour this summer as Mengi would have been the standout youth player if given the opportunity in those friendlies. I just hope that this doesn’t set his development back a year.
Maybe we’ll see him play in the cup competitions from time-to-time, but over the next twelve months, I doubt we’ll see an awful lot of Mengi unless there’s a major injury crisis in that centre-half slot. That’s a shame, but for those who enjoy watching U23 football, it’s worth keeping an eye on Mengi this term.
Another option is a loan move away from Old Trafford. It could be worth considering for Solskjaer if Mengi is offered regular starts at Championship or League one level.
Were you impressed with last night’s Mengi debut? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.