Manchester United will reportedly trigger a 12-month contract extension for Netherlands defender Tim Fosu-Mensah, according to reports. Whilst on loan with Fulham in the Premier League last season, the 21-year-old suffered a terrible knee injury which is something that he has only recently recovered from and has returned to training at the Old Trafford club. Fosu-Mensah is heading into the final months of his contract.
The academy graduate has always been seen as a talent by the club, coming into the first team under former manager Louis van Gaal in the 2015/16 season and making 10 appearances that season, continuing the following season, making 11 appearances. However, during the following two seasons, loan spells at Crystal Palace and Fulham did not work all that well for him.
Right now, at United, there is no need for a new right-back, a position that the 21-year-old has played, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka being signed in the summer and the likes of Diogo Dalot and Ashley Young also able to play in the position. Fosu-Mensah has also played in the centre of defence, which is something that will be a problem position for him to break into being that Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe will most likely be ahead of him.
United obviously see something in the 21-year-old which is why that are extending his contract for a further year, which will ensure he remains at the club until the summer of 2021 and stop foreign clubs from being able to tempt him from the New Year, leaving the club as a free agent in the summer. Fosu-Mensah has always been a player that the club’s supporters have been hoping gets opportunities.
One area where he could fit in at the club is in midfield. Right now, United have just Paul Pogba, Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic, with the latter linked to a move as early as January with his football being heavily limited this season under Solskjaer, and rightly so. Fosu-Mensah could provide an assured mind and ability playing in the defensive midfield position, which would shield the defence and give some aggression going forward with the more creative players playing further up the field.
Solskjaer will need to use the players he has at his disposal and along with the likes of James Garner, Dylan Levitt, should be utilised in midfield as the likes of Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard, and Matic etc have not worked out for the club, no matter how much time they are given, there will not be much or any improvement. Fosu-Mensah could actually become the player he was tipped to be whilst coming through the academy of the club.
Obviously, after coming back from a tough knee injury, it could take time for Fosu-Mensah to reach match fitness. He might be given opportunities in the coming weeks to play U23 football or even be utilised from the bench, which could help him reach the necessary form and fitness for when it really matters. Between now and New Year’s Day, United will face 11 matches and during January, there will be many more fixtures with the FA Cup commencing.
If Solskjaer uses this chance to see what Fosu-Mensah is made of, he might save some money in the summer transfer window as the club will be seeking new players to turn the club around from the decline it has been heading in, if the social media ‘fans’ give him the chance, not that it matters as they don’t make the decisions. Fosu-Mensah could be that defensive midfielder that the club have been holding out for.
After Ashley Young has left the club, which is expect in the summer, he could also fill in at right-back, should he be needed, unless the likes of Ethan Laird come through, which could mean that Dalot is also pushed out of the reckoning, but I guess that though could be left for another day. Solskjaer could be pleased with Fosu-Mensah and the next few weeks will be telling in whether the player is ready or not.