Manchester United coach names “fantastic” academy star who could be close to first-team breakthrough

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Manchester United Under-23s coach Neil Wood has named Teden Mengi as a youngster to watch for the near future after his fine performances at youth level.

The 18-year-old has been tipped as someone who could soon follow Brandon Williams into the Man Utd first-team, as Wood sung his praises in an interview with the Manchester Evening News.

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“Teden has been fantastic,” Wood said.

“He came up to us quite early on in the season and, a bit like Brandon in a sense, he came from the 18s and took his chance. He played really well and he kept his place in the team.

“And when he dropped back down at the end of the season to lead the Youth Cup team, he put in some excellent performances there. We’ll be looking to work with him next season and he’s one [player] we want to ‘do a Brandon’ with, push him on and the goal is to try and get him pushed up into that first team if we can.

“That’s what the Under-23s is for, we’re trying to get that jump up to the first team. And like Brandon, once that chance comes we want them to take it.

“Brandon has done exactly that: he started with the 23s, coming on pre-season with us, he was excellent. He came in flying on the first day of pre-season, you could see the determination he had, he came back in great shape and he was working the hardest of the group. He’s got his rewards now. He’s got his chance in the first team, did really well and he’s not looked back since.

“It just shows you how you can start off the season in one place and by the end of it, he’s flying up there in the first team.”

The Red Devils have a proud history of bringing players through their academy, and fans will hope Mengi can become the club’s latest success story in that department.

One imagines Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be taking note of Wood’s claims about Mengi, with the Norwegian tactician seeming to be keen to blood as many youngsters as possible in his reign at Old Trafford so far.

United have given plenty of opportunities to the likes of Mason Greenwood in recent times, while Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay have also become more important parts of the senior side since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as manager.

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