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Rough Diamond: Manchester United youth team star Timothy Fosu-Mensah

The False9
3.05K   //    25 Jan 2015, 01:28 IST
Timothy Fosu-Mensah of Manchester United U18s in action during the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester United U18s and Hull City U18s

Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s signing has a very “Paul Pogba” feel to it . One of the highest rated youngsters in the continent, lots of clubs are interested, and Manchester United have snatched him. This guy is a physical beast for his age, but has that rare mix which makes youth players stand out even more than that; he is smart on the ball, technically gifted and displays a great attitude on the pitch.

You can tell that this guy breathes football, by just watching him play. Sort of like how you see that Wayne Rooney loves football. He is a very technical CB/CM who has only played a handful of games and is already impressing most of his watchers. He is good enough to play in either of his preferred positions in the long term. He is one of the most complete players in the youth structure that Manchester United have.

A perfect fit for Van Gaal’s preferred formation

If van Gaal wants to stick with a back three then Fosu-Mensah would be a perfect fit. I personally see him as a future CM/CDM. However still being only 16 years old (turns 17 in January) he is eligible for the under-18s for at least another season. But by the looks of it that won’t matter as he will be in the under-21s soon enough.

Fosu-Mensah is young, athletic and quick. The last two is what characterizes many of the world class players these days. Being just 16 (17 tomorrow!), he has plenty of time to develop his abilities on the ball as well. We could be seeing a potential Vincent Kompany prototype in a few years. That said, he is good enough to potentially become a complete midfielder in some time. His engine and physical abilities would make for a fantastic box-to-box midfielder if he works on his passing.

Timothy has been a regular starter for the Netherlands’ youth teams for almost 2 years. He is the captain of the prestigious Dutch U17 team, and was one of the star players in the Ajax youth system when Manchester United brought him in.

The future looks extremely bright for Fosu-Mensah, and I can honestly not wait to see him pushed up to the U21 squad. Going by how Manchester United have treated their best talents in the last few years, we’ll likely see him tested in a few games this spring, and then permanently move him to the U21s sometime next season, at the latest.

-/u/monsieurryan & /u/rdzzl

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The False9
The False Nine is a blog completely devoted to the fascinating and intriguing world of football tactics for the ordinary football fan. Over the past two years, the blog has gone from strength to strength including getting nominated for "Best New Blog-2011" at the Nopas and the Best Overall Blog at the European Blog Awards-2013.
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