Old habits die hard and that was certainly the case when a former Manchester United player returned to Old Trafford this weekend.
Luton Town made their first trip to Manchester United since 1991 and were narrowly defeated 1-0.
But there was reason for the players to chuckle before the match when one of Rob Edwards’ players strolled confusingly into the home dressing room.
Teden Mengi, who spent 14 years at Manchester United after coming through the youth academy, was on autopilot when he stepped down from the team coaching role.
He shook hands with security and then walked towards the dressing room for Erik ten Hag’s players.
A former Manchester United academy star suffered a meltdown on his return to Old Trafford
Teden Mengi walked into the home dressing room despite now playing for Luton Town
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It was soon pointed out to him that he was at Old Trafford as a visiting player these days and was in the wrong dressing room, prompting him to quickly head the other way.
Mengi was able to see the funny side in a clip captured by the BBC’s cameras for Match of the Day 2.
‘Teden Mengi, a former Manchester United player, forgot he wasn’t still at Manchester United!’ said Mark Chapman about the match of the day 2.
“And he had to leave the home locker room and go to the locker room.”
Mengi shook off any previous loyalties as the whistle blew as he controlled the narrow defeat.
At the end of the match, Mengi and fellow former United academy star Tahith Chong, who spent six years at United, both received a warm hug from Ten Hag on the pitch.
Mengi (left) stood out this season and showed he belongs at Premier League level
He spent more than a decade at United (right), but made only two senior United appearances
“I’ve called United home for a long time, they’ve been family for a long time, but I’ve taken a different path in my career, trying to get where I want to in my career and that was the decision to come to Luton,” said Mengi before the match.
Mengi, 21, feels at home playing regularly in the Premier League, with his performance against Liverpool catching the eye.
He came through the youth system at Old Trafford, representing the various age groups before progressing to the first team and making his debut for the club in August 2020.
Mengi has made just two senior appearances for United in recent seasons and has been loaned out to Derby County and Birmingham City.
Injuries hampered Mengi’s bid to establish himself at United, but the England U20 international has always backed his ability to play regularly in the Premier League and he seized the opportunity at Luton with a number of impressive performances for the Hatters.