Manchester United youngster Timothy Fosu-Mensah has hinted he would prefer to play at centre-back or in central midfield rather than full-back.
The 18-year-old made his debut at left-back this season and has flourished at right-back for Man United in recent games against West Ham and Tottenham.
He was originally signed as a centre-back from Ajax but also looked solid in a holding midfield role for the Under-18s. Fosu-Mensah insists he is simply enjoying his breakthrough and is hoping for more game time.
Speaking about his start so far, Fosu-Mensah said: “It’s a difficult question,” he told ManUtd.com.
“I think I’ll just be keeping my options open. Centre-back or midfield, I think that is the most chance. However, as I’ve said before, wherever the manager wants me, I will play there.
“I had the pre-season with the Under-21s, Warren Joyce helped me very much, particularly in the aspects I was not so good at. He helped me on it and tried to make me a better player. I’m happy he has been able to do that. I played No.10 in pre-season and scored a goal from there as well so I was very happy!
“I think that experience helped me. As an attacking midfielder, you come into positions where you have to think and think as an attacking player as well. When you go back to being a defender, it helps you think how attackers think – about where they’re moving to and what they have to do before they receive the ball. So it definitely helps your game when you play in other positions.
“I think, when you’re young, it’s important you can play in as many positions as you can so, wherever the manager wants you to play, you have more experience in every role.”
Having watched Fosu-Mensah in our academy sides, I’d say defensive midfield is where he has looked most confident and natural. With his ball playing ability and physical prowess, he’s got the right sort of attributes to fill the sort of role Michael Essien had at Chelsea in his pomp.
Of course it all depends on where he gets played by van Gaal or whoever comes in next at United but one thing is for sure, Fosu-Mensah is good enough to become a regular starter for United in the future and I’m very excited to see how he continues to develop.