A powerful and versatile defender with plenty of speed and athleticism to accompany natural ability on the ball, Tim Fosu-Mensah is an exceptional prospect.
He first caught United’s attention while playing for boyhood club Ajax during the AEGON Future Cup and completed a move during the summer transfer window of 2014, before being forced to wait for international clearance.
Although nominally a central defender, he was often pushed into midfield to help sharpen other areas of his game and also looked comfortable as part of a three-man defence.
Former Reds boss Louis van Gaal rewarded Fosu-Mensah’s performances in the Reserves with a call-up to the first team as a spring injury crisis hit hard and he made a high-profile debut against Arsenal in February 2016, before becoming a regular in the squad.
Later, in October of that year, he signed a new contract with United to keep him at the club until June 2020, with the option to extend it for a further year. Although regularly in and around the first-team squad, in 2016/17 he picked up an untimely injury against Manchester City but at least recovered in time to make the bench for the Europa League final against his former club Ajax.
Determined to further his education with regular senior football, the defender joined fellow Premier League side Crystal Palace on a season-long loan, working under the management of fellow Dutchman Frank de Boer and then Roy Hodgson.
Fosu-Mensah managed to gain some vital Premier League experience and overall represented the club on 24 occasions. He played a vital role in the Eagles’ rise up the table in the second half of the season and helped the club avoid relegation against all the odds. In August 2017, Tim made his competitive bow for the Netherlands and performed well despite a heavy defeat to Paul Pogba’s France. He has since gone on to become a regular in the Dutch squad.
He secured another season-long loan move for the 2018/19 campaign, joining Premier League newcomers Fulham on transfer deadline day in August but the Cottagers endured a tough time, including changing their manager twice over the course of what was ultimately a losing battle against relegation.
After furthering his education with the two London clubs in the top flight, unfortunately he suffered a knee injury which ruled him out of the start of the 2019/20 season.
A return to action in the Under-23s was followed by a minor setback with a quad problem but he then played the full 90 minutes of the Premier League 2 win at Stoke City in early March 2020.