Sunday 28 February 2016

Player profile: Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Louis van Gaal's United reign can be criticised on many fronts but giving youth a chance certainly isn't one of them. 

Marcus Rashford's incredible rise into the first team set-up will have inspired many across the country and none more so than the latest Academy star to be given a senior debut- Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

The Dutch youngster became the 31st player to be used by Van Gaal this season in the 3-2 victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford. 

Replacing Marcos Rojo in the 55th minute, the 18 year-old midfielder turned-defender impressed with a neat and tidy performance at left-back.

So who is the new boy and could he be the next Academy graduate with a glittering Old Trafford future?

Beginning his career as a centre-back at Ajax, he quickly attracted the attention of a number of Europe's leading clubs.
Signed by United in 2014, the defender has since progressed into an imposing and tenacious midfielder and is regarded as one of United's most highly rated Academy prospects.

An overseas addition who plays in central midfield and dons the no.8 shirt, 18-year-old Fosu-Mensah has inevitably- and unfairly- drawn comparisons with Paul Pogba. 

His versatility will be of most interest to the club's powers that be, having demonstrated he can play central defence, both full-back positions, midfield and even as a no.10.

Fosu-Mensah looked far from overawed in his 40 minutes against the Gunners as his physical strength and intelligence on the ball is something that has seen become one of the stars of Warren Joyce's Under 21 side.

Football at that level can be detrimental to a player's development and, at United, Joyce has such a paucity of options that he has often had to settle for square pegs in round holes.

That either stymies a youngster's progress or adds a further string to their bow and, in Fosu-Mensah's case, it has worked wonders with a string of superb showings for the second string which ultimately led to his first team bow. 

He scored his first goal for the United Reserves in a 7-0 win over Norwich and put in a man of the match in the 6-1 thrashing of Leicester.

"Tim has made a real impact, he's a lad whom was very good in the FA Youth Cup and has shown excellent qualities in his time with us." said Joyce.
"You've got to look at his strengths and what he can offer our team, he played in midfield and at the back, settling into a new club takes time but he has shown some outstanding work" the coach added. 

Timothy Fosu-Mensah
Birthplace: Amsterdam
Position: Midfielder/Defender
Date of birth: 2.1.1998
Joined United: September 2 2014 (from Ajax)

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