Teden Mengi was thrilled to become the eighth Manchester United academy graduate to be handed a first-team debut by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.
Mengi, 18, was brought on for fellow youth product Timothy Fosu-Mensah in the 84th minute of United’s Europa League round of 16 second leg against LASK at Old Trafford.
The teenager has had a superb rise this season, showing fantastic leadership skills in the Under 18 team before progressing through to Neil Wood’s Under 23’s, where he was again unfazed.
Mengi had little chance to impress on his first-team bout, but was delighted to realise a dream by making his first senior appearance for his boyhood club.
The defender is the latest player Solskjaer has promoted this season, having already handed debuts to the likes of Brandon Williams and Ethan Laird.
Mengi was asked after the match whether he had been boosted by the fact that Solskjaer has given opportunities to so many young players this season.
“Of course,” he said, as quoted by United’s official website.
“Especially Brandon, because we both play in defence. So when I saw him kicking on, it made me even hungrier. It made me think: why can’t I do it? Obviously I got my opportunity today.”
Williams is a fantastic example of a player who grasped his opportunity in what was an almost chance selection for the first-team.
The 19-year-old capitalised on Luke Shaw’s injury early in the season and has since established himself as a regular, making 33 appearances this season.
Williams, among others, has proven to United’s talented youth prospects that there is a path through to the first-team if they remain patient and take their chance.
It was unfortunate not to see Mengi start against LASK instead of skipper Harry Maguire who should have been rested.
But it will have been a proud moment for the youngster and he will look to keep impressing Solskjaer in training to prove he can challenge for a place in the first-team squad next season.
Teden Mengi is the 8th #MUFC academy graduate to be given a first team debut this season:
• Brandon Williams
• Largie Ramazani
• D’Mani Mellor
• Ethan Laird
• Di’Shon Bernard
• Ethan Galbraith
• Dylan Levitt
• Teden Mengi
Good to see. 🧬🧬🧬 pic.twitter.com/9fVOSQ6XRC
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 5, 2020