Timothy Fosu-Mensah could thrive with Jose Mourinho's influence

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In ten years time, when people look back at Louis van Gaal's two seasons in charge of Manchester United, what will be the defining element of the Dutchman's time as manager?

Some would argue it will be the feeling of disappointment. For others, it will be the slow, arduous football that United fans were forced to endure for large parts of both campaigns.

But a small section of supporters might just remember the veteran boss for the amount of first team debuts he awarded to some of United's most promising young players.


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The most obvious player to whom Van Gaal granted his first appearance is, of course, Marcus Rashford. After making his debut in the Europa League after an injury to Anthony Martial, the 18-year-old sensation went on to make 18 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring an impressive eight goals.

Aside from Rashford however, Van Gaal also gave Joe Riley, Guillermo Varela, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, and Timothy Fosu-Mensah their big breaks in the United first team - all of whom are expected to have big futures within the game.

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However, it is perhaps the latter of which the most is expected. A graduate of Ajax's famed academy before making the move across to Manchester in 2014, Fosu-Mensah has quickly made a name for himself as one of the most promising young players Man United have had in a very long time.

Capable of playing any position across the backline, as well as a holding midfield role if required, the young Dutchman has made quite an impression on United's coaches since joining the club two years ago.

Despite having only turned 18 in January, Fosu-Mensah has had no problem dealing with the rigours and physicality of the Premier League, based on the eight impressive performances he turned in this season.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - FA Youth Cup Fifth Round

Standing at a towering 6 ft 3 in, and possessing incredible pace for a player of his size, the young defender has already proved more than a match for some of the division's most physically challenging players - in terms of both speed and strength.

Having played predominantly at right-back for Van Gaal in his debut season, Fosu-Mensah has also demonstrated his impressive ability both in an attacking sense, as well as his composure with the ball at his feet.

Now with a new manager in charge - and one that has supposedly taken the job on the remit that youth must continue to be given a chance - Fosu-Mensah looks set to continue his development at the club, especially given just who the new manager happens to be.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Capital One Cup Final

With a proven history for favour tall, strong, and athletic defenders - Raphael Varane, Kurt Zouma, Ricardo Carvalho, Sergio Ramos, Gary Cahill, Lucio to name just a few - Fosu-Mensah certainly possesses the physical assets required to impress the meticulous Portuguese coach.

Combine both of these factors with the ongoing debate over Matteo Darmian's ability to hold down the right-back spot for United long-term - as well as the reported decision by Mourinho to sell current United centre-back Daley Blind - and the future is certainly looking promising for the Dutchman at United.

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Daley Blind
Premier League
Jose Mourinho

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