18-year-old defender Teden Mengi has been a notable new face in Manchester United’s training sessions over the past fortnight.
It says a lot about how highly he is rated that he has jumped past Di’Shon Bernard in the queue.
Bernard, one year older, started for United against Astana last November, while Mengi did not even get off the bench.
Now there is a growing chance that Bernard will soon be joining him back with the first team group.
Mengi was brought into shore up a defensive unit which has lost Phil Jones to an unspecified injury. In terms of potential, most fans would rather see the teenager given chances at this point any way.
Then last week, news broke that Axel Tuanzebe was ruled out of Friday’s match with an injury too.
Late in the game against Tottenham, Victor Lindelof appeared to limp off when he was replaced by Eric Bailly, the club website even reported him as an injury scare for this week’s game.
An update on the condition of both players, plus Jones, is expected at today’s press conference.
Lindelof did train yesterday, which was a sign he will be available. There was no sign of Tuanzebe.
If Lindelof had not been ready to go, United would be down two first team defenders plus Jones. It is very likely Bernard would have got the call as next in line.
He is, as it stands, just one more first team defensive injury from getting a call up.
Bernard has been one of the most reliable players for United’s under-23s over the past season, with 16 appearances in total.
He acquitted himself well against Astana, despite the unfortunate own goal, it was a debut performance he should have been proud of, with fans praising his display.
Bernard was recently named by first team star Scott McTominay as one of United’s best three academy players, along with Largie Ramazani and James Garner, The Mail reported.
It will be frustrated for him to have been overtaken by Mengi, but the door could be about to open now for Bernard too.
Still only 19 himself, he should believe he is still capable of making an impact, and his season might not be over yet.
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