Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has talked up Manchester United’s ‘special’ youngster Teden Mengi, but is waiting for the right moment to give him his first real opportunity.
The 18-year-old centre-back enjoyed an impressive season for the Under-23s last term, which culminated in his first-team debut as a late substitute in the 2-1 win over LASK in August.
Solskjaer has made his intent to use the academy products at his disposal clear, integrating both Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood into the senior squad to great effect last season.
With United yet to sign a new centre-back this summer, Mengi could get further chances to impress In the upcoming campaign.
Norwegian boss Solskjaer is expecting even more improvement from his young prospects and sees ‘something special’ in Mengi.
‘Both Mason and Brandon will improve, even Marcus and Scott they’re at an age that they’ll improve,’ Solskjaer told BBC Radio 5 Live.
‘Dean Henderson’s that age, he’s one of ours that’s going to come through.
‘We always had that in the back of our minds that our academy will provide players and Teden has definitely impressed me. It’s different trusting defenders on the big stage, of course it is.
You’ve got to make sure he’s ready for it, you see examples of Ajax, who play in a different league but Matthijs de Ligt, they made him captain when he was 18. You can see something special in them.
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‘Teden’s got something special in him. It’s about picking the right moment to give him a chance.
‘Brandon Williams did exceptionally well last season coming in as a defender. A defender or goalkeeper making a mistake might cost a team, a striker who misses a chance it’s like at least he was there to get the chance.
‘Strikers can always win you a game with their enthusiasm, youthfulness, courage and no fear of failing. Defenders you’ve got to make sure they’re ready because you can’t really know how they’ll react if they make a mistake.’
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