Timothy Fosu-Mensah has reacted to making his first ever senior appearance for the Netherlands after being called up by Dick Advocaat earlier this week, labelling the occasion as “special”.
The youngster joined Crystal Palace on loan earlier this month and, in spite of a poor start to the season from the South London side, has been a standout performer under new manager Frank de Boer, producing disciplined, hardworking displays on the right hand side of a back three. And he was handed a deserved call up to the senior side after Lyon right back Kenny Tete was ruled out with a knee problem.
This, in itself, was a monumental achievement for the teenager, but it wasn’t going to stop there: he was going to make his senior debut against an effervescent France side containing Paul Pogba at the Stade de France. Needless to say, the hosts dominated a languid, uninspiring Dutch side comprising of teenagers and veterans, claiming an emphatic 4-0 win, but Fosu-Mensah can hold his head up high. He battled brilliantly against Layvin Kurzawa, maintaining his discipline and positional sense throughout, and always looked to move play along, although he received little help from any of his teammates. Advocaat’s side were really, really poor.
And Fosu-Mensah, in spite of receiving yet another drubbing, was notably delighted at being handed the chance to impress on such a big stage and thanked his manager for the opportunity.
“It’s a special day, but unfortunately not with the desired result,” he said. “I think the French were just a cut above us. I can not say I’m shocked, but it’s just a shame that it ran out.
“I am very grateful to the coach for the confidence he has shown in me. I heard on the matchday that I would play. I was very happy and will always be grateful to Dick Advocaat for this opportunity.”