Manchester United’s Mengi joins County Derby at Rooney on loan


The 18-year-old England international will spend the rest of the season with the Rams

Wayne Rooney has raided his former club to bring Teden Mengi to Derby County from Manchester United on loan.

The teenager will spend the rest of the season with the championship side, which is in the lower half of the table and seeks to escape danger.

Mengi, 18, made his debut for the Red Devils against Lask Linz in the Europa League in August 2020 – when he came off the bench in a 2-1 win – and he said after the match that it was “just the start” of his United adventure.

He hasn’t played for the first team this quarter, but has been involved in the Carabao Cup and Champions League day squads.

The deal binds Mengi to the Rams for the remainder of the season, and he wrote a little piece of history by becoming Rooney’s first signing since taking over as permanent manager of the club.

Mengi brings his pedigree to Derby, having been selected by England at the Under-15, 16, 17 and 18-year-old levels – and will have learned a lot by climbing the ranks with the Red Devils academy.

The defender lacks experience, but I hope he picks him up at Derby in the second half of the season – and that’s a godsend for Rooney as Mengi had generated considerable interest when United confirmed he was available loan.

He was unlikely to break into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defense this season.

Pace is seen as a key part of his game, and this can be a valuable asset at the championship level.

Rooney and his team will look to shape Mengi’s defensive play in the second half of the championship season.

He’s not the only player to leave Old Trafford in January.

Facundo Pellistri, Ethan Laird, Jesse Lingard, Tahith Chong and James Garner left the club on loan, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah joined Bayer Leverkusen on a permanent basis.

There could be more Old Trafford releases in the closing hours of the transfer window.

For Mengi, his goal will be to impress Rooney in training.

The Rams won three on the spin, all by a nil goal, to ease their relegation issues.

Mengi will add to Rooney’s defensive options, and his first possible appearance for the club could come against Rotherham on Tuesday.

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