Timothy Fosu-Mensah. The name stood out, when I first heard we’d signed him back in the summer of 2014, and since then his performances have stood out, even more. I’ve spoken at length about Fosu-Mensah, at the match, to mates and other football fans. Trying to find words to describe a player, who, although he only turned 18 this month, cuts an imposing figure.
A native of Amsterdam, he’s as cultured with the ball as you’d expect a player to be, from that famous academy. He’s formed formidable partnerships with Ro-Shaun Williams and Axel Tuanzebe when they feature for United, mostly in the U21 side, and not, in the U18 side which is the correct age group for them. Good with the ball at his feet and a natural leader, I like him as a defender. Oozes class. Doesn’t ever look in trouble and often makes the right decision in the heat of the moment. What more could you ask for? Add that to the physical attributes, his height and considerable strength and I think you’ve a player on the cusp of being given a first team shout. Or at least a loan deal somewhere.
However, when he’s played in a central midfield role, he absolutely blows me away. In defence, he’s flawless, but playing him there limits the impact he’s able to have on the game. In midfield, he’s incredible. Dynamic. Powerful. Rampaging. I’ve seen the comparisons with Pogba and I disagree, for me he’s more in the mould of Bryan Robson, it’s a lazy comparison with Pogba and the only one I will draw, is that Pogba was ready for a first team shot early and should have been given more of a run than he was allowed. I feel Fosu-Mensah is the same. If he’s not allowed to break into the first team in the next 12-18 months, he will inevitably leave and prove his worth to someone else. He’s a long way to go to be the finished article but I have seen enough that I’d love him to start getting minutes here and there, now.
Whereas Pogba was always more attack minded and creative, I see Fosu Mensah as a real box to box style of midfielder, totally different in style and mentality. Happy to sit in and defend, but also willing to grab hold of a game and impose his will. Driving forward with powerful runs.
Amidst all the turmoil with Louis Van Gaal, I doubt we’ll get the chance to see him this term, unless we suffer even more injuries. While Van Gaal has used a lot of Academy players, naming even more on the bench who are yet to make debuts, including Tuanzebe, Rashford and Weir, it’s more likely a player comes on in a peripheral position. Spinal positions such as goalkeepers, central defenders, central midfield and striker being a place where you don’t often see debuts and chances like you do with fullbacks and wingers. So it’s going to take a lot of (probably bad) luck and bravery for us to see him named in the XI or even on the bench. But I wait for the day he’s given a chance.
While we’re talking about it, I can’t not mention Van Gaal can I? I saw so much bullshit surrounding this flight to Holland this morning, it’s actually quiet pathetic. Some people and reporters just need to create drama and Manchester United, with our massive fanbase so thirsty for news, are such an easy target. But it’s exhausting. I never take a report on face value. There’s always something of an agenda with anything in the press and it’s surprisingly easy to drill down into what’s actually going on, IF you just don’t react to the headline, but actually read the content of the articles.
Anyway. Big week for United, this. U21s (currently 1-0 v Sunderland) playing tonight, U18s on Weds and FA Cup for the first team on Friday. I’m sure the speculation around LVG will continue right up until he walks out in Derby for the start of the game. It’s great being a red, innit?
Until next week!