The pair both developed under the umbrella of Ajax’s esteemed academy system before earning moves to Manchester United.
Blind, eight years older than Fosu-Mensah, established himself at Ajax before moving to Old Trafford, whilst Fosu-Mensah came to Man United as an Under-18.
Speaking to ManUtd.com, the 18-year-old shed light on how he grew up admiring Blind.
“When I was 14, we would ask the players if we could have their boots and I asked Daley for his,” he said.
“His feet were so small and I had much bigger feet than him at the time! [Laughs] I still took them though.
“I can remember watching Daley play for the Ajax second team. At that time I think I was with the Under-14s or Under-15s. And another time I remember him playing for the Under-19s and it was when they had to win to be the champions.
“After that he went to Groningen on loan and later when I was 15 or 16 a lot of the time I was a ball-boy at the stadium [for the first-team games] so I watched him play many times and close up. I was ball-boy most of the times he played left-back so I was very near to him and I could see he was a good player.”
Blind, above more than anyone else, epitomises the values encouraged by Ajax’s system: absolute versatility, technique, vision, intelligence on the ball. A rare Total Football gem, echoing the sentiment instilled by the late Johann Cruyff – modern football’s greatest pioneer.
No wonder, then, that Fosu-Mensah reveres the Dutchman with such passion. This is someone he grew up admiring, pin-pointing Blind as an example of what it takes to concede. And now they are teammates, together in the pursuit of glory at a true juggernaut of a football club. Blind’s presence, above anything, will be extremely helpful for the youngster in the coming years.