Timothy Fosu-Mensah is the latest in a long line of players to be inducted into the first-team from the Manchester United academy by manager Louis van Gaal. The defender's performances in recent games have made him one of the most talked about players at the club and along with Marcus Rashford, he is touted to be the mainstay in the senior squad for a long time to come.
The young Dutch defender was signed from Ajax in 2014 and his impressive performances for the youth sides have seen him promoted to the senior side by the manager. He was initially drafted in due to an injury crisis in defence earlier in the year, but he has since made eight first-team appearances in all competitions featuring in a number of positions.
The 18-year-old can play all across the back line, and has been used by the manager at centre-back and full-back positions to great effect. United have lost just two games when he has featured, and are yet to lose a game when he starts. Fosu-Mensah, however, is not ready to restrict himself to playing in a single position despite preferring the centre-back or central defensive midfield role.
He is keen to play and learn, and therefore, is ready to play in any position the manager demands. The Dutch-born defender also believes playing in different positions helps read the opposition better, and is keen to continue his versatile role for the team until he is afforded a fixed position in the first-team.
"It's a difficult question. I think I'll just be keeping my options open. Centre-back or midfield, I think that is the most chance. However, as I've said before, wherever the manager wants me, I will play there," Fosu-Mensah told United's official site.
"I had the pre-season with the Under-21s. Warren Joyce helped me very much, particularly in the aspects I was not so good at. He helped me on it and tried to make me a better player. I'm happy he has been able to do that. I played No 10 in pre-season and scored a goal from there as well so I was very happy!"
"I think that experience helped me. As an attacking midfielder, you come into positions where you have to think and think as an attacking player as well. When you go back to being a defender, it helps you think how attackers think – about where they're moving to and what they have to do before they receive the ball. So it definitely helps your game when you play in other positions," the young Red Devils defender explained.
"I think, when you're young, it's important you can play in as many positions as you can so, wherever the manager wants you to play, you have more experience in every role."