Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praises Teden Mengi after debut against LASK
Going in with a 5-0 lead from the first leg, Solskjaer was given the opportunity to test out a few new things. This included bringing Mengi off the bench in the second half.
Having started on the bench, the 18-year-old replaced Eric Bailly, who limped off. Having enjoyed an excellent season for the Under-23, his move to the first-team was richly deserved.
Solskjaer has shown he is willing to give youngsters a chance if they prove themselves. Following the match, the Norwegian was effusive in his praise of the youngster.
“He’s a leader, a [proper] centre-back.”
Solskajer has seen enough of the player to know what he is talking about. It appears that Mengi’s performance on the night did little to prove the Norwegian wrong.
“He’s strong, quick, good on the ball. We’ve got a decent player there.”
Mengi came up the United ranks alongside Mason Greenwood. The young attacker has enjoyed an excellent breakout season that has seen him star for the first-team numerous times.
If he keeps progressing, there is no reason Mengi cannot emulate his former youth teammate. The youngster recently swapped his jersey number from 71 to 43.
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A number of defenders could leave United this summer. Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are out on loan while Phil Jones’ time at Old Trafford could be nearing its end.
Given Eric Bailly’s injury history, it remains to be seen what role Mengi plays next season, especially if United decide against bringing in another defender.