Timothy Fosu-Mensah has gone from being Manchester United’s forgotten man, to the player who fans want to see more of.
After a promising comeback match against Crystal Palace, his first United game for three years, Fosu-Mensah was back on the bench again for the FA Cup semi-final.
Brandon Williams was preferred at left-back, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka retained his place at right-back.
Fosu-Mensah did make the bench ahead of fellow full-back Diogo Dalot, who he has not clearly overtaken in the pecking order.
The Dutchman came on at Wembley for the final 12 minutes plus stoppage time, replacing Wan-Bissaka, who was taken off to be rested with United already 3-0 down and the game lost.
United did manage to pull a consolation goal back from a Bruno Fernandes penalty late on.
Fosu-Mensah did not have much time to make an impact, having 12 touches, winning one aerial duel and one tackle.
But from the small sample size of this cameo appearance and the performance at Selhurst Park, Fosu-Mensah managed to impress.
United supporters are keen to see more of the 22-year-old between now and the end of the Premier League and Europa League season.
Versatility is part of his appeal
At this late stage United’s players are looking fatigued and injuries are beginning to be a factor.
It was injuries at left-back which brought Fosu-Mensah in, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s need for rest yesterday saw him given a chance on the right.
Having a player who can play on both sides is very useful to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Fosu-Mensah can also slot in at centre-back too, and this may be needed after Eric Bailly’s injury.
It is uncertain if Bailly will be fit enough to feature even on the bench against West Ham in midweek.
In terms of cover at centre-back, Fosu-Mensah would be next in line, unless United are ready to call on teenager Teden Mengi.
It would not be a surprise at all to see Fosu-Mensah in the starting line up over the next two Premier League games, and his versatility means at that at least, he is a valuable player to have on the bench.
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