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Manchester United defender Teden Mengi believes he’s studying every day under Wayne Rooney in Derby County.
The local boy took a great week off to talk to us about his loan from the Rams and play for an Old Trafford legend.
It’s been a busy couple of days for the defender . After coming on as a half-time substitute to cut a 2-0 deficit against soaring Brentford and scooping up a point on Tuesday, he signed a new long-term contract with his parents’ club the following day and then joined the England U19 squad on Friday.
Mengi may be one of the division’s youngest center-backs at 18, but feels he has done well in senior football and is delighted to have the opportunity to regularly play minutes in the championship .
« I’m really enjoying it at Derby, » he told us. « It’s a different environment with a big group of guys and a great manager in Wayne Rooney who is a legend of this club. »
« I think the connection between me and him is coming and he showed confidence in me. He gave me a chance and I think I took it well. It’s good to play in the championship regularly, at a difficult level. I think I’m getting on well and I’m very happy with it.
« I knew it would be a step further than I was used to playing U23 football. It’s good, but not championship football, so of course I had to prepare myself mentally for it. I think physically I can come and benefit from playing in this league.
« I really spoke to most of the guys when it came to making a decision and they said it would be good for me to have a different type of experience because obviously I played in the Premier League 2 and I think I did well so I needed the next step and a new one Challenge. I think it’s all about right The time came together for me.
Our loaned defense attorney Teden is returning from Derby County to put a new contract on paper.
“With Wayne, of course, he demands a high level from us. He demands 100 percent from us every day and it’s really good because it makes you a better player. As you know, he did it himself so it’s great to play for Wayne. « It was a good upswing to be Man of the Match against Barnsley recently, which was a tough game by the way, » he continued. « We had to delve into 90 minutes and I think that’s the championship game thing. » Not just against Barnsley and this is really football.
« It’s been a good experience for me to have that concentration throughout the game against tough opponents in a tough league. » It was positive for me. « There are a lot of learning points for me in this league, which is why I think I’m blessed to be there and grateful to be there. To have the opportunity to play as much as me and have as much playing time as me because I can learn so much. Even if I’m just training and being with the guys and with the gaffer, I just learn so much from his experience.
Our loaned winger continues to make league leaps ahead of a tough test.
« My goal is to find out as much as possible about whether this is learning and playing, » he continued.
« Of course I want to play as much as possible, gain that gaming experience and help the team to land as high up in the table as possible. We have nine games left in the season and we want to win all nine.
« I think that’s the thing about being in the championship, playing for points and your place in the table. I think Derby did well to get to where we are now and it would be a shame to waste it. We have nine cup finals and we want to win each one. «
The Rams are in Stoke City on Saturday. The game starts at 15:00 GMT.
Both teams end the game with 10 men when United lost 3-0 to Tottenham in the Premier League 2.
The Reds have moved to sign another of our promising U-23s on a long-term deal.
United’s highly rated French youngster has signed a long-term deal with the club.
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