Tim Fosu-Mensah has a United mentality
Ask Tim Fosu-Mensah for his career highlights and the Manchester United defender picks out some natural choices – making his senior bow against Arsenal, winning the Emirates FA Cup, the Europa League and earning a first international cap for the Netherlands.
However, he clearly has a passion for some of the less obvious things. “When Anthony Martial scored against Everton [in April 2016], I gave the assist,” he told MUTV. last season. “It was the 1,000th Premier League goal at Old Trafford.”
Such knowledge marks the Dutchman out as somebody who knows a lot about the game and is eager to achieve more.
I spoke to him at Crystal Palace’s training ground towards the end of his season on loan with the Eagles, where he gained invaluable top-flight experience for somebody who only turned 20 this year.
Now performing regularly for United in the United States on Tour 2018 presented by Aon, he is showing his athleticism in the centre of defence.
With Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot already ruled out of the Premier League opener against Leicester City, Fosu-Mensah could still emerge as an option for the right-back position. He has examples all around him of fellow Academy members who have fought for a place in the senior squad. It would appear his choice to move from Ajax at 16 has been the right one.
”Obviously, United is a very big club,” he told me. “The first time I came, I saw Andreas Pereira and he just spoke to me about the club and gave me good feelings straight away. Brian McClair was there and I had a good feeling about the club. I made the decision to go to United and I am happy with this decision.
"I think the Academy is, how do you say this, very strict but in a positive way for you. I think that has benefited the players. You can see it with the mentality of Jesse [Lingard], Marcus [Rashford], Scott [McTominay] and Axel [Tuanzebe]. You know you can see the mentality of the players, which is a very good mentality to have."
Tim continued: "It’s about being grounded. That was the most important thing for the Academy. You were not allowed to wear gloves or any other gear! At Ajax, it was all allowed, and I came here in the winter and asked Andreas: ‘What is this?’ He said: ‘Just keep going’ and it’s good. I definitely needed some convincing!”
Fosu-Mensah hopes to gain more experience by facing Real Madrid – Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and co – at the Hard Rock Stadium.
That International Champions Cup fixture will conclude the American adventure for Tim, who continues to pursue his dream at United.