Manchester United fans were left underwhelmed by Timothy Fosu-Mensah‘s performance in their side’s 3-1 win over Northampton Town in the League Cup.
The Dutchman received his first start of the 2016/17 season under Jose Mourinho but failed to impress, often lacking positional awareness and discipline at the back.
Man United fans were quick to express their disappointment in light of Fosu-Mensah’s inability to take his rare chance in the first-team.
Fosu Mensah at fault for that penalty, walking around and ball watching. Shoukd be alert and causing others to take the fall for him.
— Hashim (@Hash22_) September 21, 2016
Fosu-Mensah really isn't that good is he? Not a full back, definitely not a midfielder. Is he a CB?
— sam (@mufcsam_) September 21, 2016
It was a pleasant surprise to see Fosu-Mensah appear on the team-sheet ahead of Matteo Darmian. A series of powerhouse, head-busting performances under Louis van Gaal last season – in positions all across the back – meant that the 18-year-old had garnered a strong reputation amongst fans and players by the beginning of the Mourinho era, and this League Cup tie served as the perfect opportunity for the youngster to make an emphatic impact, perhaps challenging Darmian for the second choice right-back spot.
But on the night, Fosu-Mensah came across as too sluggish in possession, lacking that level of swiftness and organisation required of a right-back. His lackadaisical reaction to Northampton’s charge into the box led to the home side receiving a penalty, whilst his overall positional sense put United in danger on several occasions.
He is, however, just 18, which can be hard to forget. And substandard performances of this nature are commonplace amongst youngsters, and actually necessary for their development overall.