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Man Utd handing a fresh contract to this outstanding 17-year-old academy gem would be a masterstroke

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Why Man United are heading in the right direction with a new contract for Teden Mengi

Manchester United have a tradition of handing chances to youth stars and making the best use of their academy. This goes back to even before Matt Busby arrived at the club.

An academy graduate has featured for them in almost every first-team game for the longest time, which is an astonishing achievement through all the successes and failures.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played at the club for 11 years and was the reserves team coach after his retirement under Sir Alex Ferguson, who always emphasized on the importance of youth.

Solskjaer has followed suit by handing many chances to the youngsters early into the new season.

Teden Mengi, a young centre-back from the U18s side, has signed a new contract and looks like the most promising prospect in that department since Axel Tuanzebe, who is now part of the first-team.

Mengi is only 17 and has been one of the standouts from United’s academy. He’s a highly physical specimen, who can drive into the midfield from the defence with great speed and strength and loves to crunch into tackles.

He’s also a good 1v1 defender, which has become increasingly important in the modern game. United, under Louis van Gaal, often employed a system where the Dutchman famously had 15-first-team players and the rest were made up of the academy stars.

Solskjaer seems to be going back to those roots, having given the likes of Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes quite a lot of minutes in this season already.

The Norwegian manager would be aware that United simply don’t have the right players and will have to spend billions to catch up with Manchester City and Liverpool right now.

However, in a few years, whether or not he’s at the helm, there will be some talented players from the academy. And they will be ready to play under the spotlight at Old Trafford when the opportunity arises.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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Mengi is part of a talented group of players who are capable of knocking on the doors of the first-team very soon. Offering him a contract is certainly a step in the right direction.