Scout Report: Timothy Fosu-Mensah
Date of Birth: Jan 2, 1998 (18 Yrs)
Current Club: Manchester United
Position: Centre Back / Right-Back
Over the years, Manchester United have prioritized in bringing young payers through at the academy and this season we have seen as many as NINE U-21 stars make their senior debut for the club.
Among those exciting crop of players comes a powerful central defender who just at the age of 18 already looks like a polished Premier League player. Amid all the defensive injuries Louis Van Gaal has suffered this season, Timothy Fosu-Mensah has emerged on the scene and his dependable performance against Everton was another sign of how far this young player has come in last 4-6 months at Old Trafford.
On that note, we take a closer look at Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s playing style, weaknesses and future prospects as a professional footballer.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah – A brief history
Born in Amsterdam on Jan 2, 1998 Timothy Fosu-Mensah has come through the renowned youth academy at Ajax football club. Having represented Ajax at U-17 level, Fosu-Mensah caught United’s eyes during the AEGON Future Cup and was quickly snapped by the club in 2014.
After taking initial time to settle at Manchester, the Netherlands U-17 skipper made a real impact for Man United’s U-18 and subsequently the U-21 side. Such has been his impact on United’s junior side is that manager Paul McGuinness is yet to pen down a specific position for him.
While Fosu-Mensah is registered as a defender with Manchester United but he is often used from midfield to sharpen up the play for United’s Under-21 side. After impressing Van Gaal and Ryan Giggs in training, Fosu-Mensah made his senior Man United debut in the 3-2 win over Arsenal earlier this year.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah – Style of play and strengths
When we talk about players of the age of 18 or 19, we often tend to focus on their skill on the ball, pace and other attractive things. However, with Fosu-Mensah, I have been left impressed and stunned with the mental focus he has displayed in 4 Premier League appearances for Manchester United so far.
His first game was against Arsenal where United were tipped to lose but somehow had a 3-1 lead to protect. Fosu-Mensah came on to replace a shaky Marcos Rojo at left-back, and did a commendable job. That was not it, last night against Everton, Fosu-Mensah came on to play from right-back and did an even better job.
Against Everton, Fosu-Mensah showed us all what he is capable of. He displayed speed and decisiveness in the way he ran pass Everton defense to set up Anthony Martial’s goal. While defending, he stayed close to Aaron Lennon and never allowed him any space to work with.
At the age of 18, he showed maturity which was similar to Phil Jones or Chris Smalling. Add to that, his aerial strength was worth applauding. He dominated long balls vs. Everton and helped United get vital 3 points.
Another facet to his game which has been impressive is his ability to play across several positions. In last three appearances, he has played at left-back (vs. Arsenal), in central defense (vs. Man City) and as a right-back (vs. Everton).
Timothy Fosu-Mensah – Weakness to be worked upon
At present having seen him begin his Manchester United career, the only weakness I could point at is his positional sense against better skilled players.
Against Arsenal, he had some issues against Mesut Ozil who dragged Fosu-Mensah with him in to the midfield and then played Theo Walcott to catch the young defender out.
As he goes along, he will indeed work on that aspect of his game and be an even better prospect for his club than at present.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah – What does the future hold?
Right now he looks all set to seal a long and decorated future at Manchester United, however, we have seen in the past how players can move away if not given proper opportunities.
If that sorted, Fosu-Mensah could be a long-term defensive option for Louis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ryan Giggs or whoever is in charge of the club in coming seasons.
As earlier mentioned, more than his footballing abilities, it is his attitude and mental toughness which will take him to great heights in his professional career.
Image Credit: Getty