Manchester United prospect Teden Mengi has been promoted to the first-team. And he may not have to wait long for another chance to impress.
The 18-year-old centre-back made his senior debut in the Europa League last season. But he could build on that six-minute cameo with a start in the EFL Cup next week.
United take on Luton on Tuesday and, with games coming thick and fast, Mengi has a realistic chance of playing.
Harry Maguire looks set to feature this weekend alongside either Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly. Whoever doesn’t start from the latter pair could then kick off in the cup alongside the talented teenager.
Chris Smalling could well be off this summer, while Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are surely on borrowed time.
With Axel Tuanzebe upping his recovery from another injury, the time is right for Mengi to start against the Championship side.
It would allow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to see what Mengi can do without the pressure of a league outing.
No need for defensive reinforcements
Rumours persist that United are looking at potential new defenders this summer or next. Yet Mengi’s quality is clear to see.
After just 19 U23 appearances, the defender has deservedly taken the step up to first-team contention.
Patience will be key. Yet Tuanzebe’s setbacks have allowed Mengi to potentially leapfrog his older teammate and he may not look back.
Both should feature plenty this season. Yet the younger of the pair has an early-season advantage to impress.
United will not want to take their lower-league opponents lightly. But they have the squad depth to make plenty of changes and still go through.
Mengi fared well in United’s only pre-season friendly earlier this month. And it could be just four days until he enjoys some competitive action.
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