Manchester United defender Teden Mengi has made an excellent start to life within senior football and he could potentially save the Red Devils from forking out a small fortune.
The 18-year-old centre-back joined Derby County on-loan in January, with his temporary move to Pride Park being his first experience of senior football away from United’s youth team set-up.
He has certainly had an extremely promising start to life in the East-Midlands.
Mengi has so far made four appearances for the Rams, three of those starts, and earned his first clean sheet in midweek in a 0-0 draw against Barnsley.
Rams’ boss and former Red Devils hero, Wayne Rooney, has certainly been enamoured by the youngster so far, labelling his performance against the Tykes on Wednesday as “excellent”.
Despite only just venturing into senior football, Mengi’s statistics suggest that he is not out of place at all.
According to WhoScored, he is averaging 4.9 defensive contributions per match; 1.3 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, two clearances and 0.3 blocks.
His numbers are extremely comparable to fellow centre-backs and senior professionals Curtis Davies and Matthew Clarke, indicating how quickly he has adapted to Championship football.
Considering his age, Mengi already appears to have plenty of composure when in the tackle, only averaging 0.5 fouls per 90 minutes which is only beaten by George Edmundson of central defenders in the Rams’ squad. That is not an aspect often found in young players, who are slightly too keen to make their mark.
Whilst those numbers should level out as Mengi accumulates more experience with Derby, it is an extremely promising start for the youngster, who has captained the Red Devils’ U23 team on a number of occasions.
With Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Soslkjaer reportedly keen to sign a centre-back in the summer, £1.35m-rated Mengi could save the Red Devils a considerable fee should he continue his current trajectory at Pride Park and prove that he’s a viable first-team option once he returns to Old Trafford.