Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admits he does not yet know Timothy Fosu-Mensah's best position. The 18-year-old Dutchman has played across the back four since making his United debut in February and his countryman has confessed he is not yet sure where the youngster's future lies.
Fosu-Mensah has impressed since graduating to the Manchester United first team, but Van Gaal admits a glut of injuries have meant he has been forced to fulfil a number of different roles. "It is dependable on vacancies in your squad," the United boss explained during a pre-match press conference ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Everton, according to the BBC.
"Players in my squad are playing in different positions than what they are used to in their former careers. When there is a vacancy and you think a young player has the quality to play there, you give him the chance and he takes it."
Van Gaal likened Fosu-Mensah's situation to that of Bastian Schweinsteiger during his time at Bayern Munich, when he switched the World Cup-winning star from a wide role into central midfield. Indeed, the United boss suggested Fosu-Mensah could make a similar switch in the coming years.
"You can ask Bastian Schweinsteiger who, at Bayern Munich, played on the right side. I made him a centre midfielder because I looked at his profile and I thought he can better play in the middle and he enjoys it more," Van Gaal recalled.
Meanwhile, Van Gaal also admitted that a number of United's academy graduates have been pressed into first-team before they were truly ready, because of the club's injury woes. However, he said coaches in the United youth set-up deserve much of the credit for the success of the likes of Marcus Rashford.
"They are not ready. Marcus Rashford is not ready. He knows that. You need guts to put youngsters in the squad, also in the line-up," Van Gaal explained. "Academy and scouts have credit for these players. I am a little part. That part is very important. You need guts to do that."