Hatters boss insists ex-Manchester United starlet 'stays with us' after reported interest from Premier League rivals

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Centre half excelling for Luton this season

Luton boss Rob Edwards has stated that former Manchester United defender Teden Mengi’s ‘stays with us' after he was linked with interest from a number of Town’s Premier League rivals this week.

The 21-year-old has been in superb form since arriving from Old Trafford back in August, as despite initially being brought in to add competition to the squad, the youngster very quickly found himself lining up in the Hatters back three to take on some of the best players in the world after the club’s defensive options were severely hampered by a host of injuries.

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Since getting the nod though, Mengi has been in superb form, scoring his first senior goal in the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace and becoming a reliable fixture in the Hatters’ XI, which led to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reporting that both the Eagles and Fulham were now monitoring the former England youth international's situation. However, asked about those rumours this afternoon, Edwards said: “It just shows that the lads are doing well. T’s been a revelation I think since coming in, he’s played more games than we probably anticipated he would do early on, but he’s just taken to it like a duck to water and deserves to be starting the games because he’s playing the way he is.

Hatters defender Teden Mengi - pic: Liam SmithHatters defender Teden Mengi - pic: Liam Smith
Hatters defender Teden Mengi - pic: Liam Smith

"He’s becoming a really important player for us ahead of schedule. We knew this could happen longer term, but he’s done great so you can understand it, a 21-year-old, performing so well against the best players in the world. I understand it, but he stays with us. It’s something that’s really important to us that we keep this group together. Gary’s (Sweet, CEO) reiterated that to me as well, unless we want someone to, no-one leaves.”

Mengi had suffered badly with hamstring injuries during his time with the Red Devils, plus previous loan moves to both Derby County and Birmingham City when the duo were in the Championship, as he played just 18 games in total during both spells at Pride Park and St Andrew’s. However, since moving to Bedfordshire, those issues appear to have gone, the defender featuring 15 times in all competitions for the Hatters, starting Town’s last 11 top flight matches, getting stronger with every passing 90 minutes.

Edwards puts that down to his work away from the game, adding: “He’s really valued and we’ve got a brilliant team. Our S&C (strength and conditioning) team are great, performance, Jared (Roberts-Smith) leads that really, really well and T really works hard on his strength work. He’s a really powerful boy, he’s really, really quick as well, so he could be at risk of those hamstring troubles, but he’s managed his body really well. He really values the stuff in the gym as well as the training, so he’s strong, robust and showing that at the moment. That’s down to him really valuing the other stuff and I think he’s been great with that.”