Teden Mengi was one of the highly touted players to watch ahead of United’s FA Youth Cup tie with Norwich. He lived up to the billing.
Mengi captained the side and the young centre-back was impressive at both ends of the pitch.
In the second half he did what Harry Maguire has not yet done for the first team, score a header from a corner.
Mengi’s goal wrapped up the tie after Charlie McCann had opened the scoring from a penalty.
The victory sets up an interesting tie against Leeds United, who will be keen to spring an upset. It will be another good test for Mengi and co.
A class above
This season Mengi has been playing regular under-23 football and it really showed last night.
Back in an under-18s competition, Mengi stood out as one of the best players on the pitch. It was easy to forget he is only 17 too.
He was part of United’s travelling squad which went to Kazakhstan to face Astana in November, and while he was an unused substitute, it was an example of how highly he is rated already.
There is no need for United to rush Mengi into the first team, not with Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe closing in on returns from injury.
But if he keeps making positive progress, he might start to be talked up for a possible call up next season.
For now, Mengi’s task is to lead United to our first FA Youth Cup win since 2011. If he can do that, then his reputation will rise even further.
Last night’s performance was a positive step all round, while French whizkid Hannibal Mejbri also put in another show-stealing performance in midfield.
Mengi’s performance led to praise from fans on social media, and while it’s important not to over hype any player at this stage of their careers, his performance provided real hope that he can crack the first team one day.
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