Teden Mengi made his Manchester United debut last night, replacing Timothy Fosu-Mensah in the 2-1 win over LASK in the Europa League.
The 18-year-old is quickly rising through the ranks at the club, having just made his debut for the U23s this season. He has impressed in his first campaign under Neil Wood, featuring in all but two league games, helping United register the best defensive record in the entire division.
Operating at the heart of the defence, Mengi is a commanding figure, quick in covering runs in-behind but also strong in the air too. Those at Old Trafford have quickly took note of his development, with the teenager being included in the Europa League matchday squad back in November.
The Englishman has also been training with the senior team over the past few months, and was granted a five minute run-around vs LASK. Making your professional debut is a moment that will stick with players forever, never mind doing so at the Theatre of Dreams.
Speaking to the club’s media (via manutd.com), Mengi couldn’t contain his excitement: “It was a brilliant moment, I loved it. My mum said she was crying – I’ve already checked my phone!Embed from Getty Images
“Obviously, it’s a great feeling. I’d like to thank everyone that’s been around me, supported me, from my family, all my team-mates. Everyone in the first team made it very easy for me. Everyone was very welcoming. But the Academy staff as well. Also, I’d like to thank the manager for giving me the opportunity. But, again, it’s just the start. It’s down to myself now to just keep on kicking on. But yeah, I’m very happy with it.”
Given the Red Devils’ 5-0 lead on aggregate going into the game, the teenager was expecting to feature at some point. He claimed that he was prepared to be called upon and that everyone was telling him that this is ‘his moment’.
The only slight dark cloud over the matter is that he couldn’t share this moment with his family or friends, who were watching on from home. Mengi addressed the matter: “It’s a big shame really, because my mum pestered me all the time,” Teden explained. “She said: ‘If you ever make your debut at Old Trafford, I’m going to be there watching you.’ It’s a shame she couldn’t be here today, but, again, it’s the moment of my life so far – time to kick on.”
Still, it was a moment that the young Englishman would never forget and one that could prove to be a little iconic in the club’s history. The defender is highly regarded around the Carrington complex and has the potential to make a serious impact on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.