At just 18 years old, Derby County’s new loan signing, Teden Mengi already has Europa League experience under his belt and the promising talent will now look to further bolster the Rams’ backline for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.
Wayne Rooney has turned to his former team-mate and current Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who clearly has plenty of faith in the youngster and has said he has ‘something special in him’ after handing him his senior debut last season, to add to Derby’s squad.
Here, dcfc.co.uk takes a closer look at Mengi’s career so far…
Manchester-born Mengi climbed the ranks at his boyhood club and signed on at Old Trafford as a scholar ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, having previously captained United’s Under-16s side. After just a season with the Under-18s, in which he made 21 appearances as well as competing in the FA Youth Cup and captaining the side, the centre-back broke into the Under-23s side.
His impressive performances helped the Reds to consecutive victories in the EFL Trophy and also gain promotion in Premier League 2 to the top division. He also caught the eye of the United first team staff and the teenager had his foot in the door of the senior side just months into the 2019/20 campaign.
The centre-back first linked up with United’s first-team by joining the travelling squad for their match against FC Astana in the UEFA Europa League in November 2019 and was an unused substitute in their defeat.
In August 2020, Mengi made his senior debut coming off the bench at Old Trafford in the Europa League meeting against LASK in the 84th minute. The defender then joined the Red Devils for the remainder of the competition in Germany, appearing on the bench against FC Copenhagen and Sevilla.
Following his breakthrough into the first team, Solskjaer commented that Mengi has got ‘something special in him’.
The United boss further echoed those thoughts when he promoted Mengi to the first team after an impressive pre-season ahead of the 2020/21 campaign. After training for the majority of the season with the senior side, Mengi will now hope to get more first team minutes under his belt in his first ever spell away from United.
YOUNG LIONS STAPLE…
Mengi’s performances with the Reds has earned him call ups with England from Under-15s up to Under-18s - his current age-group.
The defender made his Under-18s debut for the Young Lions as a 17-year-old in August 2019, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1-1 friendly draw with Brazil.
Soon after he started again and helped England to a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory over South Korea as well as appearing in a 1-0 win over Slovakia and playing the full game in a 3-2 victory over Austria.