This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Birmingham City are near to finalising a deal for Manchester United centre-back Teden Mengi, as per a report from Birmingham Live.
The 19-year-old, who has been a crucial figure in the Premier League club’s U23s this season, has previous Championship experience with Derby County.
Birmingham’s fast-moving interest in the young centre-back has emerged after Wolves decided to recall Dion Sanderson from his temporary spell with the Blues.
Quiz: Can you name which club Birmingham City signed these 20 strikers from?
Mengi is highly rated by the Premier League giants, with the 19-year-old already gaining experience in the club’s first-team environment.
Three of our writers here at FLW have shared their thoughts regarding this potential deal…
Not only is this a good signing because of the calibre of player, but also because of Dion Sanderson’s departure and the speed at which they moved to get this deal over the line.
Mengi will be more than an adequate replacement for Sanderson having done reasonably well at Derby County last term and with first-team football at Manchester United in his sights, there will be no shortage in motivation for him to do well.
Alongside Marc Roberts and George Friend, he will richly benefit from his spell and that can only be a good thing for Lee Bowyer’s men in general.
And in the end, his loan signing will mean they can sever ties at the end of the season if things don’t work out, so it’s a risk-free addition and a perfect replacement for Sanderson.
This could turn out to be a clever bit of business by Birmingham as they unquestionably need to strengthen their squad following a poor run of results in the Championship in recent weeks.
Before having his loan stint at Derby curtailed due to injury, Mengi illustrated some signs of promise in the second-tier as he made 2.4 clearances per game and won 2.6 aerial duels per match.
Considering that Harlee Dean was recently transfer listed by the Blues and Dion Sanderson is seemingly set to return to Wolves, Bowyer clearly needs to sign at least one centre-back this month.
Therefore, a move for Mengi could be a viable option for the Birmingham boss as the defender has previously demonstrated that he is capable of competing at this level.
I think that Teden Mengi would be an astute signing for Birmingham, in a position that they certainly need to look at strengthening during the window.
The Blues and Lee Bowyer have had plenty of injury issues to contend with so far this season, so adding Mengi could help alleviate some of them and would also give them a talent who is well capable of performing to a high standard in the Championship. During his previous loan at Derby, he featured only nine times but there were flashes of brilliance from the youngster that proved he could cut it at this level.
Granted, that is the extent of his second tier experience so far. However, at just 19-years-old, he has the potential to develop into a top-level player – and the chances are that given regular gametime at Birmingham in the second half of the campaign, he could thrive.
He could be an inspired signing for them – the only issue is that come the end of the season, they would have to give him back to Man United!