Connect in the back of the net

Manchester United midfielder Timothy Fosu-Mensah looks set to join London based club Crystal Palace after being allowed to leave Old Trafford by Jose Mourinho on a season-long loan to gain some first team experience.

The Dutchman was recently reported to be undergoing a medical with the Premier League club by Sky Sports, suggesting he is close to a move.

The 19-year-old, who is highly regarded in the Old Trafford ranks due to his powerful stature had seen his first-team opportunities limited under Mourinho, and given United’s recent signing of Nemanja Matic, the towering defensive minded player would perhaps fall further down the pecking order despite showing his versatility by being able to play in multiple positions.

 

Just what he needs

A loan-move could be just what the youngster needs right now in order to improve his chances of first team football, as well as potentially earning an international call-up further down the line.

Fosu-Mensah has enjoyed several appearances in the first team squad since being promoted from the academy in 2016, having joined as a youth squad player from Ajax in 2014.

The Dutch international reportedly sees his long-term future at Old Trafford, vowing to fight for a first team place should he be given more opportunities whether playing in defence or midfield.

After displaying his potential for the future, the Red Devils will be reluctant to let the player leave on a permanent basis having tied him down to a long-term deal in October 2016, as well as letting many players slip through their fingers over the years, such as Gerard Pique who left the club in 2008 to join Barcelona to become a world class defender.

 

Renowned academy

Manchester United’s renowned academy set-up has over the years seen a vast array of talent that has seen them nurtured to prepare them for their future careers, many of whom have gone on to win a host of titles and awards.

The Class of 92 being a prime example, with big names such as Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville amongst the graduates who would go on to spend their entire professional careers with the Old Trafford club under the hugely successful reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, as well as David Beckham and Nicky Butt who would also enjoy largely successful stints at United, albeit all eventually leaving the Red Devils in the later years of their careers.

More recently, youngsters such as Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard have eventually found their way into first team, with the latter having spent time away on loan with Leicester City, Birmingham City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County to gain first team experience upon his graduation from the United academy.

Both players have gone on to feature heavily in the first team squad under Jose Mourinho, who has
often been criticised for not allowing youth a chance throughout his managerial career, instead preferring to splash the cash on proven players in their prime years.

 

Giving youth a chance

Yet since his appointment at Old Trafford, he has proven otherwise having seen a multitude of players promoted to the first team including Scott McTominay, Joel Pereira, Andreas Pereira and Axel Tuanzebe as well as regularly featuring players such as Rashford and Lingard.

Many youth players have historically been given a chance at United, and Mourinho appears to be continuing the tradition. Many of the players may not have fully made their mark on the first team just yet, but they are certainly on the right track.

 

Written by Cristian Fry

Follow Cristian on Twitter @CristianF99

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