Will Fosu-Mensah make the grade at Manchester United?

Perhaps the best thing Louis van Gaal did for Manchester United was introduce a raft of youngsters to first-team football when injuries bit in early 2016.
Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard have gone on from that to become integral parts of the picture for both club and country, while others such as Cameron Borthwick-Jackson look like they’ll never make the grade.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah so far falls in between. We’ve taken a look at his performance in Fulham’s 1-0 defeat against Huddersfield last night to check on his progress so far and whether he will ultimately make it at Old Trafford…

Nightmare performance

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

The Whites travelled north for a crunch bottom of the table clash against the Terriers, but did not play like a six taking part in a relegation six-pointer.
Fosu-Mensah was no different, unable to rouse himself in the opening 45 minutes. His quality on the ball was poor, he dived into a stupid tackle to get himself booked before netting the own goal which eventually decided proceedings.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Dutchman was withdrawn at half-time as Slavisa Jokanovic’s side chased the game after a hugely unimpressive performance.

Will he ever make it at United?

(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

The move to Fulham is Fosu-Mensah’s second straight temporary spell in the top flight after he spent last season at Crystal Palace, but he has failed to set the world alight at either club in the capital.
There are high hopes for him at United; he is versatile and athletic and when Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia are finally moved aside, the club will need a right-back to challenge Diogo Dalot.
But his development has stalled despite reasonably consistent exposure to Premier League football and that has to change.
Under a manager more accommodating to young players than Jose Mourinho, Fosu-Mensah might thrive and the good news is that he should outlast the Portuguese at Old Trafford.

All isn’t lost, but Fosu-Mensah’s career is going in the wrong direction on the evidence of last night. Much like his temporary club, the defender needs to make a sharp turnaround or he might not find himself in the Premier League beyond this season.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.