Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will give Tim Fosu-Mensah the chance to earn a new long-term contract at Manchester United after it was revealed that Bundesliga clubs retain interested in the Netherlands defender. On Thursday evening in the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace, the 22-year-old started for the first time since the 2016/17 season standing in for the injured Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams in the left-back position, which is not a favoured position of his.
Fosu-Mensah did well in an irregular position and was not disgraced as many might have though he would be. It would be a shame if he was not able to continue his career at United as the early prospects of the player were good. Solskjaer confirmed that Fosu-Mensah would be given the opportunity to earn a long-term contract with the club, just like teammate Nemanja Matic has this season. The Sun reported the United manager as saying:
“He’s worked hard and delighted for him. I know all about having injuries – knee injuries – and how great it must have felt for him to be out there.
“He lasted a full game and he played as we wanted him to; he defended really well. We knew it would be Townsend and Zaha to play against – tricky players to play against.
“I’ve seen Timothy in training and seen him before with his pace and physicality, and his attributes. We thought he deserved to play this game and he proved that, he showed it.”
This season, Fosu-Mensah had been limited to two appearances at U23 level for United, playing 148 minutes to gain match fitness after a return from injury, which has been his problem at the club. He will be happy with 90 minutes of first team action with a possibility that he could play more, perhaps not at left-back unless needed, but in a more favourable position; right-back, central defence or even as a defensive midfielder. These are the positions that the 22-year-old has played in so far.
After making to rise to United’s first team during Louis van Gaal’s reign at the club, Fosu-Mensah has endured four major injuries; two whilst on loan with Fulham, one of which continued into the current season with the player recovering from surgery. His knee injuries seem to be the dangerous ones, suffering a cruciate ligament injury which required surgery, something he is just getting the better of now, which is why he needs to be given a chance, not just written off by the club.
Fosu-Mensah has a year left on his current contract at United, which is the additional year from his last contract extension, signed in 2016. If the player can keep his fitness, there is no reason why he cannot earn a future at the club as players that offer much less than him seem to have won a career at the club, despite having more time on the injury list than in the starting XI recently. The 22-year-old has a good future ahead of him, hence the interest from Germany, despite no clubs mentioned in The Sun’s report.
Written by John Walker