Manchester United have some wonderful young players on loan right now. But few are as exciting as Teden Mengi and James Garner. And the duo are preparing to stick together on Friday night.
Center-back Mengi is currently on loan to Derby County from Wayne Rooney, while midfielder Garner impresses with Nottingham Forest.
Now the pair could face each other in one of the championship’s biggest rivalries.
Mengi is one of United’s most promising young center-backs, set to be a future star at Old Trafford.
He has played 28 times for United’s Under-23s so far, captaining the team despite his young age. For the Rams, Mengi has only played twice so far and has been an unused substitute twice in four days.
Still, he could start this clash well given his previous outings at right-back and center.
Garner makes up for lost time in Forest. After a disappointing loan spell, the 19-year-old heir to Michael Carrick is excelling.
He played every minute of Forest’s previous five games before taking a rest on Tuesday night.
His impact has been such so far that he is expected to be back in the starting XI later this week.
United certainly hope so. Garner has been hailed as the next big thing for a while and this season he can show why.
A nice end to the ongoing campaign could see Garner show Ole Gunnar Solskjaer what he can do with United’s first team next season.
The next generation
Whatever happens this week, Mengi and Garner are likely to be key players for United in the years to come.
They may not have broken through as quickly as Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, but the future is incredibly bright.
Axel Tuanzebe’s lingering injury issues mean Mengi could overtake his older teammate. As Nemanja Matic’s waning influence could see Garner grab his chance in 2022.
For now, United’s youngsters will be fully focused on their next league clash. It will be an event Red Devils fans should watch with interest.
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