Manchester United teenager is undergoing a medical at Crystal Palace ahead of a season-long loan move to Selhurst Park. The 19-year-old can play at right back, centre back and central midfield. United are seemingly willing to let him go out on loan given the signings of Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic to strengthen the defence and midfield respectively, but who’s benefitting the most from the deal?
Dutchman Fosu-Mensah is a strong, versatile young player. He is best deployed as the deepest midfielder, there to break play up and give it to his side’s most creative players. His ability to play in the centre of defence and as a right full back, offers de Boer a great deal of positional versatility.
The first obvious quality you recognise for Fosu-Mensah is his strength and power. He is is extremely well built and is impressively filled out despite being just 19 years of age. That presence and power can see him steamroll his way past opponents when carrying the ball, making him an effective option at full back.
He is also extremely difficult to get past in one-on-one situations and can dominate opponents, breaking up play superbly. His strength, therefore, benefits in him in every position.
However, that strength and power also comes with intelligence and speed of thought, making him typically Dutch and a player with a lot of potential. Fosu-Mensah plays with his head up and is good at spotting the right pass.
His positioning could do with some work, certainly, as the Dutchman often relies on his pace to make up for his misjudgement, though his drive and work ethic certainly allows him the capability to improve in this area.
Frank de Boer could do with more players who fit his style and Fosu-Mensah certainly does with his intelligence and versatility. Not only that, he brings some much needed youth and speed to an ageing Palace squad. He could prove to be a master stroke signing for the Eagles.
Fosu-Mensah made his first team debut for United as an 18-year-old in 2016, coming off the bench to play left back in a 3-2 win against Arsenal in the Premier League. He made a further nine appearances for Louis van Gaal’s side that season, seven in the league and largely impressed.
However, despite a late break into the first team for 2015/16, Fosu-Mensah only made a total of 11 appearances throughout the whole of least season under Jose Mourinho, with just four of those coming in the league.
Mourinho has been reluctant to give youth a chance throughout his career, and Fosu-Mensah would have been disappointed with his playing time last season. The Portuguese has assured the youngster that he has a future with the Red Devils, but must gain greater discipline before being considered a regular in the first team.
Such is the demand for success at Old Trafford, Fosu-Mensah would never be given enough chances to learn his trade in the first team and therefore needed to go out on loan. If he can play regularly at Crystal Palace and improve on his deficiencies, then United will have a very talented player returning after his loan ends.
RealSport verdict: Ideal for Fosu-Mensah
A player as talented as the Dutchman needs regular game time, something he won’t get under Mourinho at Old Trafford.
This season, though, he will have a year of regular Premier League football under a coach who has developed many young Dutch players from his time at Ajax.
It is the ideal loan for Fosu-Mensah and he should theoretically return to Old Trafford a much better player, ready to play more first team football. Overall this loan works out for all parties involved.
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