Manchester United starlet Teden Mengi hopes his debut was ‘just the start’ of a fruitful career at Old Trafford.
Having come off the bench to replace Timothy Fosu-Mensah with six minutes to go in the club’s 2-1 Europa League win over LASK, the 18-year-old admitted he was ‘very happy’ with his performance.
Mengi was delighted to be given the chance to impress Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but insists he will now ‘kick on’ as he claims he is ‘hungry for more opportunities’.
18-year-old Teden Mengi hopes his Manchester United debut is just the start of his career
‘It’s a great feeling. I’d like to thank everyone around me. My family, my teammates and everyone in the first-team made it very easy for me,’ Mengi told MUTV after making his debut.
‘The academy staff as well as the manager who gave me the opportunity. It’s just the start. It’s down to myself to keep kicking on but I’m very happy with it.
‘Of course, everyone dreams of this moment. It’s everyone’s dream – to represent the biggest club in the world. Luckily enough, I got the chance today and I’m really chuffed with it.
‘Everyone was telling me before the game and during half-time to be ready and that’s what I did. Everyone was saying: “Come on Teden, this is your moment now”.’
He came off the bench for Timothy Fosu-Mensah in their Europa League win over LASK
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is quick and strong, and that he believes in him
Mengi was, however, disappointed that his mum was unable to attend the game given the current circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: ‘It’s a big shame really because my mum pestered me all the time. She said: “If you ever make your debut at Old Trafford, I’ll be there watching you”. It’s a shame she couldn’t be here but it’s the moment of my life. But it’s time to kick on.
‘I’m hungry for more definitely. Then again, it’s just the start for me as a player. I need to keep kicking on, keep developing, keep the same attitude in training and everything I can do. Then I’ll hopefully get more opportunities.
‘Of course, watching Brandon [Williams], we both play in defence. When I saw him kicking on, it made me even hungrier. I thought: “why can’t I do it?”‘
Mengi says he will ‘kick on’ as he claims he is ‘hungry for more opportunities’ in the first team
Speaking of Mengi’s performance after the game, Solskjaer told BT Sport: ‘He is a leader, a centre-back, someone we believe in, he’s strong, quick, good on the ball and I think we’ve got a decent player there.’
Having been handed his debut in the current campaign, Mengi has become the first player born in 2002 to play for the Red Devils.
The high-rated youngster clocked up the fourth-fastest running speed in the club, with only Jesse Lingard, Axel Tuanzebe and Daniel James quicker.