As Aaron Wan-Bissaka nears completing his £50m Manchester United move, spare a thought for Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
Two seasons ago Fosu-Mensah was sent on loan to Crystal Palace. It was supposed to be the season which would catapult him towards becoming a regular at Old Trafford.
Instead he lost his place to Palace’s emerging star Wan-Bissaka, and has had a torrid time since.
Fosu-Mensah struggled on loan at Fulham last season, before picking up a serious knee injury which required an operation.
The Dutch talent is now 21, and there appears no way into the team for him at right-back at United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chose not to recall him in January, and now he has Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot in front of him, while Ashley Young would still also be ahead in the pecking order.
Beyond that, young talent Ethan Laird might even jump the queue.
But before we write off Fosu-Mensah’s career at United entirely, it’s worth considering that he showed promise in midfield early in his career.
Fosu-Mensah replaced Paul Pogba in central midfield against Fenerbahce in the Europa League in 2016 for the last 15 minutes. After the match he said: “I’ve not played there for a long time. I’ve played there a lot for the Under-18s and Under-21s and it was a little bit different but as soon as I was on the pitch it felt good.”
It was Louis van Gaal who first pushed Fosu-Mensah into a full-back role, and given the competition for places, it’s time for the player to abandon that if he wants to succeed at Old Trafford.
When fit again, Fosu-Mensah should plead to be given the chance to establish himself as a midfield option under Solskjaer.
There is competition in midfield too, but no standout options at present. It’s all up for grabs.
This might be Fosu-Mensah’s most likely shot of saving his United career.