Teden Mengi says he has no thoughts of forcing his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans after impressing for Manchester United’s U21s on Wednesday night.
Mengi, 18, skippered the young United side to a 6-0 EFL Trophy win over Salford City, who are part-owned by the ‘Class of 92’.
In fact Gary Neville, on co-commentary, was left lauding the young defender for his composure during the game at the Peninsula Stadium as United’s young guns schooled the League Two promotion hopefuls.
His performance led Solskjaer to make a loose comparison with £67.5m Holland international Matthijs de Ligt.
Mengi was interviewed by the media after the game at Salford and was instantly asked whether he was expecting a chance in the first team in cup competitions this season.#
Solskjaer: "Ajax made Matthijs De Ligt captain when he was 18. Teden Mengi has impressed me, you can see something special in him. It is about picking the right moment to give him a chance." [bbc]
— utdreport Academy (@utdreportAcad) September 9, 2020
“For me I’m not looking too far ahead. Same old me, I’m just looking to work as hard as I can,” he said, via the Manchester Evening News.
“If it happens, it happens. It’s down to me to keep working hard and if that opportunity comes then I need to take it.”
Solskjaer has seen the potential in the Manchester-born centre back, and handed him his first-team debut against LASK Linz in August.
Asked how training with the first team was, Mengi replied: “It’s been really beneficial. Learning how they play, the difference of speed in the play. It’s a lot faster, it’s been really good to be around them and I’ve really enjoyed it.
“Everyone speaks to you really, it’s a welcoming environment and [players] will come and speak to you and put your arm around you and say well done, that kind of thing.
“[It’s] really good because at a young age you get to see experienced players who have played with the first team for a long time, for years and the best players in the world.
“It’s a great experience, you learn so much from them by just training with them. You learn so much, it’s a big eye-opener, it’s been brilliant.”