Timothy Fosu-Mensah has explained his reasons for wanting to spend this season with Crystal Palace on loan, pointing towards a desire to develop the technical aspects of his game by spending more minutes on the pitch.
The Dutchman first appeared in a red shirt back in February 2016, coming on as a second half substitute during a 3-2 win over Arsenal. He impressed with his natural physical prowess and went on to enjoy a run of games under Louis van Gaal, impressing against the likes of Watford and West Ham United.
He retained his place in the Manchester United squad last term but only managed to make three starts all season. He has joined Crystal Palace, managed by former Ajax boss Frank de Boer, on a season long loan with the Dutchman keen on securing a right back before the window shuts. The teenager had also attracted interest from Watford but clearly felt more inclined to link up with his fellow countryman in De Boer.
And Fosu-Mensah, speaking soon after moving to Selhurst Park, emphasised the importance of gaining some valuable Premier League experience over the 2017/18 campaign.
“It’s fine because you’re surrounded by great players,” he said.
“Every day, in and out, you train with great players. You develop every day with these great players. I just want to develop, keep developing. I am young so I try to work on my weaker stuff and to become a better and complete player.
“I need a bit of experience, things like concentration, touches, communicating on the pitch.”
The right back may only be 19, but he has demonstrated a clear capacity for weathering – and indeed thriving in – the vicissitudes of Premier League football in the past, and passing up an opportunity to feature regularly in England’s top division next season would make no sense at all.
His raw power surging forward and awareness on the ball – something undoubtedly honed during his education at Ajax’s academy – will serve him well at a side battling for survival next season. Supporters will hope to see him return with an added veneer of maturity next year.