Timothy Fosu-Mensah: I look up to Daley Blind at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer


Timothy Fosu-Mensah has shed light on the way he looked up to Daley Blind during his time at Ajax’s academy system.

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.

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