Wayne Rooney has hailed the ‘excellence’ of Teden Mengi after his Man of the Match display for Derby on Wednesday night.
The Manchester United loanee kept an impressive clean sheet away at Barnsley as the Rams were held to an encouraging goalless draw in the Championship.
Mengi, 18, starred in the middle of a back-three as he started his third match since his loan exit from Old Trafford in the January transfer window.
The teenage centre-back was voted Man of the Match by Derby fans on social media after the draw and manager Rooney was equally as impressed.
Speaking after the game he hailed his side’s defensive resilience and in particular the performance of youngster Mengi.
“I have tried a three at the back few times, but tonight was the best we performed it,” Rooney told Rams TV.
“Teden Mengi was excellent in the middle of the three centre-backs and I thought Craig Forsyth – his first game for a while – did well and Kelle Roos was excellent in goal.”
When asked specifically about the development of the United youngster Rooney heaped more praise on Mengi for the physicality he has shown.
The Derby manager added: “He’s obviously young, but he’s started three games for us now. The three games were tough, but it shows the trust I have in him in dealing with physical strikers.”