Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has confirmed Teden Mengi has had his loan spell cut short and returned to parent club Manchester United, Manchester Evening News report.
The talented defender joined the Rams on loan in the January transfer window.
Mengi initially started as a right-back, but quickly established himself in central defence and impressed as he made seven Championship starts for the Rams.
The 18-year-old, however, picked up a hamstring injury in the defeat to Norwich City.
Mengi subsequently missed the trip to Blackburn Rovers last Friday, and Rooney has now confirmed he has returned to United after being ruled out for the rest of the season.
“Mengi will miss the rest of the season and go back to Manchester United from today,” Rooney confirmed. “(He’s been) fantastic for us. I’ve seen him grow with each game. We will keep in contact with United and Teden about next season. The injury isn’t too serious but he won’t recover in time to play again,” Rooney explained.
Mengi arrived at Derby having mostly featured for United’s U23 side.
The versatile defender was expected to act as cover for the more experienced Andre Wisdom, Matt Clarke and George Edmundson, but injuries provided him opportunities.
Mengi has impressed, growing with confidence with each appearance. He averaged one tackle, 1.1 interceptions and 2.4 effective clearances per Championship game (Whoscored).
Rooney has shared his desire to bring the defender back to Derby next season.
Mengi is unlikely to break into United’s first-team anytime soon, therefore another spell at Pride Park makes sense providing Derby preserve their Championship status.