Times are changing at Manchester United with the arrival of a new manager and players but things are also changing with some players already within the squad. These players being the versatile players who maybe haven’t nailed down their preferred position. Timothy Fosu-Mensah is one of these players. As you may know, Fosu Mensah arrived at Manchester United on deadline day in the summer of 2014. He didn’t get noticed as much due to the arrival of Manchester United and Chelsea flop Radamel Falcao taking the spotlight but he has been noticed now, having made his debut in 2015/16 season.
Fosu-Mensah came on against Arsenal in a 3-2 win for the Red Devils. He came on as a left-back having played multiple positions for Warren Joyce’s Under 21’s side. Fosu-Mensah also went on the play at centre-back and right-back within the Manchester United first team, although it is thought that his best position is at the central defensive midfielder position. When asked about if his best position is in the defensive midfield role, he was quoted saying:
“I think so, but there are more positions I feel comfortable with.”
When previously asked, his answer was slightly different, having said:
“It’s a difficult question. I think I’ll just be keeping my options open. Centre-back or midfield, I think that is the most chance.”
All of this has come to the surface due to the fact that Jose Mourinho stated in his first press conference as United boss. that he prefers to have ‘specialist’ players instead of ‘multifunctional players’. He was quoted as saying:
“I am more a manager that likes specialists and not so much the multi-functional players because I am very clear in my approach, in my model of play so I need specialist and not multifunctional players. Multifunctional players are like one or two, because when you are in trouble in the season you always need one or two who can fill in or when you have three central defenders injured or suspended you need some left back or midfield player to help, but basically I want specialists.”
So now Fosu-Mensah must make his decision on where his best position is and stick to it if he wants a spot in the first team of Manchester United. Having said that he thinks his best position is in the central defensive midfield spot, he must now look to focus on his desired position and learn the ins and outs of it, in order to secure it within the first team. This could be a blessing in disguise for the Dutch prodigy as he now has the opportunity to blossom in just the one position but then he can also help in the back four if need be.
Personally, I think he is more suited to the defensive midfielder position, this is because of the different qualities he possesses. He has great strength and composure which will help him when playing in the middle of the park. Not only this, he has the ability to pick out a pass from distance resulting him creating chances from deep. Although all of these qualities I have mentioned would also suit a ball playing centre-back, I strongly feel that United have lacked a player that posses the qualities that Fosu-Mensah possess in the middle of the park.