Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he could see what an “exciting prospect” young defender Teden Mengi is after his performance against Aston Villa.
United lost 1-0 to Dean Smith’s side in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday. Indeed, the Red Devils do not begin their Premier League campaign until next weekend.
Dean Henderson, who is ready to fight for his place between the sticks, began in goal. Exit-linked Diogo Dalot formed part of the back four, with Donny van de Beek playing in midfield.
And despite new Villa signing Ollie Watkins scoring the winner, Solskjaer insisted Mengi’s second-half performance was among several positives.
“The result wasn’t the main thing,” Solskjaer told MUTV. “Some positives, as well though: some good positives, some individual positives.
“I thought Deano showed his authority back there and he plays as a proper Man United keeper, especially second-half, [and] you see Teden when he comes on what an exciting prospect he is.”
Solskjaer also included teenagers Ethan Galbraith and Anthony Elanga in his team.
The manager added: “Young Ethan Galbraith has been with us in the summer training in the Europa League and he gets minutes today.
“And you can see he’s got less time. I spoke to him after. A couple of times he gets caught on the ball but that’s the learning he needs and that’s gonna make him next time on the pitch he’ll be ready for it.”
‘VALUABLE MINUTES’ THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT
Solskjaer insisted that his United side got the full value of game time in a pre-season made shorter by the enforced break last season.
“In the first half I thought we played some good stuff and created chances,” he said. “The most important thing is valuable minutes because this pre-season is such a strange and different one for us.
“We’ve had two weeks back and it’s only one week now until we start the league. Of course, the Europa League will help us in that respect because the players who have played in that over the summer don’t really need that much, and some of the international games.
“But you could clearly see that some of them need minutes.”