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Manchester United defender has benefited from academy upbringing

Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah is one of several former loanees on the club’s books that is looking to make a name for themselves in the first team this season. The Dutch youth international spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace, and made 24 appears for the Eagles as Roy Hodgson’s side avoided relegation from the Championship. Now, with Anthony Valencia and new signing Diogo Dalot out of United’s opening Premier League fixture with Leicester City in August, Fosu-Mensah is angling for a spot in United’s starting XI for the first time under Jose Mourinho.

The 20 year old, who signed for United in 2014 has been speaking about the experience of honing his craft at the club’s academy

“Obviously, United is a very big club,” he said to Manutd.com. “The first time I came, I saw Andreas Pereira and he just spoke to me about the club and gave me good feelings straight away. Brian McClair was there and I had a good feeling about the club. I made the decision to go to United and I am happy with this decision.

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“I think the Academy is, how do you say this, very strict but in a positive way for you. I think that has benefited the players. You can see it with the mentality of Jesse [Lingard], Marcus [Rashford], Scott [McTominay] and Axel [Tuanzebe]. You know you can see the mentality of the players, which is a very good mentality to have.

“It’s about being grounded. That was the most important thing for the Academy. You were not allowed to wear gloves or any other gear! At Ajax, it was all allowed, and I came here in the winter and asked Andreas: ‘What is this?’ He said: ‘Just keep going’ and it’s good. I definitely needed some convincing!”

Fosu-Mensah sounds exactly like the sort of youngster that Mourinho wants in his side; committed, grounded and patient. Given the club’s injury problems at right back, and the player’s performances during this current US pre-season tour, the manager could do far worse than give Fosu-Mensah the chance to shine come August.

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By Kevin T

Kevin Thatcher is a freelance journalist who's work has featured in various national and international publications, including Mail Online & The Mirror. Kevin has been a Manchester United season ticket holder in South Stand for many years, and writes for RedMancunian to combine both his love for writing, and club.

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