Timothy Fosu-Mensah might very well help Manchester United live up to their reputation of being a great destination for talented youngsters. The club has been the bedding ground for such youngsters, who may not get an opportunity at other clubs at a young age. United, at least under Sir Alex Ferguson, have always given opportunities to players irrespective of their age. Louis van Gaal tried to continue this tradition and his two-year regime saw the emergence of several youngsters from the youth teams. Fosu-Mensah appears to have been one of the select few to make a place for themselves in the first-team squad.
Jose Mourinho is yet to trust Fosu-Mensah and hand him a league start, but there have been rumours that United were going to offer him a new contract. ESPN reports that Fosu-Mensah will be offered a new deal in the next few months. The deal is expected to take the player up to the summer of 2020. One of the reasons for United offering a new deal even when the player has not yet started a league game is the fear of facing another Pogba-esque situation.
After promoting Paul Pogba from within the ranks, United failed to secure him on a long-term contract and ended up losing the Frenchman to Juventus for free. Pogba has now been brought back to Old Trafford for a whopping £89 million. United have reasons to be concerned about Fosu-Mensah’s contract situation since his existing deal runs out in the summer of 2017. It is rumoured that the deal is worth around £25,000-per-week. The deal is expected to be finalised in the next two weeks.
Fosu-Mensah has emerged as a frontrunner to replace Antonio Valencia if United do not sign any new defenders in the upcoming January transfer window or in the summer. At just 18 years of age, he still has a long way to go before establishing himself as a first-team regular but he has shown enough promise already. The fact that he has been able to overthrow Matteo Darmian is a major positive, as the Italian international has a lot more experience and is also eight years senior.
One of the biggest assets of Fosu-Mensah has been his physicality. Standing at 6 foot 3, the Dutch youngster has the potential to play a role similar to that of Branislav Ivanovic at Chelsea. Mourinho is always a manager who likes to have at least one of his fullbacks that physical presence and Fosu-Mensah fits perfectly into this mould and it may not be surprising if the Portuguese grooms the player in this fashion.
Fosu-Mensah’s only appearances this season have come in the Europa League and the League Cup.