Roy Hodgson has dismissed talk of a potential early return to Manchester United for Timothy Fosu-Mensah from his loan spell at Crystal Palace, insisting he was happy with his progress at Selhurst Park this season.
The youngster, having failed to secure regular game time during Jose Mourinho’s opening campaign, joined up with the Eagles on a season-long loan in August.
And he has produced a number of impressive displays at the back – most notably during the 0-0 draw with Manchester City which saw him pick up the ‘Man of the Match’ award.
His impressive form has led to calls for an early return to Old Trafford, but Hodgson made it clear that there were no plans to let the youngster make an early departure from his loan spell.
“I know nothing about that. We are very happy with Tim Fosu-Mensah,” he said. “I don’t know where that story has come from, to be honest.”
The 20-year-old has received a valuable taste of life at the grittier end of Premier League football over the last few months, making 15 appearances for a Palace side that has hauled itself from the foot of the table – and status of laughing stock for some time – to 17th in the table.
And he has hardly looked out of place. His display against Pep Guardiola’s men, for example, combined tenacity with control in admirable symbiosis, ensuring Leroy Sane hardly received a clear sight of goal.
Calls for him to return and serve as back-up for Antonio Valencia make sense, but taking him away from an environment where he has been forced to learn quickly would perhaps end up being unproductive in the long term.