Louis van Gaal’s reign at Manchester United can be criticised on many fronts, but giving youth a chance certainly isn’t one of them.
Marcus Rashford’s incredible foray into the first team set up will have inspired many across the country and none more so than his newest team-mate, Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
The Dutch youngster, so unknown he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, became the 31st player to be used by Van Gaal this season in the 3-2 victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Replacing Marcos Rojo in the 55th minute, the defensive midfielder impressed, So who is the new boy and could he be the next academy graduate to make a name for himself at Old Trafford?
He began his career as a centre-back in the Ajax academy, quickly attracting attention from a number of top European clubs.
The Red Devils didn’t hang around, quickly snapping up their man in 2014.
Now 18, the defender has since progressed into an imposing central midfielder, becoming one of the most promising players in United’s junior set-up.
His versatility will be of most interest to the club’s higher ups, having demonstrated he can play central defence, full back, midfield and even been deployed as a no.10.
Fosu-Mensah’s physical strength and intelligence on the ball was evident against Arsenal and is something that has seen him thrive under the tutelage of Warren Joyce in the Under-21s.
Describing the Dutchman, the U21s boss said: ‘He is a footballer… We’ve got to hone his strengths as well so he ultimately he can be selected for the first team.’
Former academy coach Paul McGuiness was also full of praise for the midfielder, telling the club’s website that He has very good acceleration over the ground to win the ball and then break forward. He has shown some outstanding work.’
Fosu-Mensah will be hoping his involvement at Old Trafford, characterised by his obvious pace and power, is a sign of things to come
United fans will be hoping he can follow in the footsteps of fellow Dutch Devils Edwin van der Sar, Jaap Stam and Ruud van Nistelrooy.