Palace’s hopes of bringing loanee Timothy Fosu-Mensah back to SE25 once the 2018-19 season gets underway look to be incredibly slim after it was reported that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has his heart set on using the young Dutchman next season.
Still only 20, Tim has shown flashes of brilliance and moments of immaturity since making the switch to Selhurst Park over the summer but it sounds as though the United gaffer has now decided to push the full-back into the spotlight from August onwards, going stride for stride with Antonio Valencia to compete for a starting berth at The Theatre Of Dreams.
Whilst I would have loved to see him return to us next term, there are plenty of other Palace fans who aren’t likely to be too bothered about the news of Fosu-Mensah’s imminent recall, after failing to be blown away by the youngster’s potential to date. Admittedly, the club’s struggles to avoid the drop are likely to have clouded people’s views somewhat but you need only look at the reputation James Tomkins has built this term to prove that defenders can be looked upon as star performers in what is an otherwise underperforming back-line.
Known for his pace and positional versatility, I often get the impression that Tim is trying to do too much from a defensive perspective, rather than allowing himself a moment to read the game. He’s demonstrated a willingness to dive into tackles which, when it comes off can look spectacular but does also leave him with egg on his face when the target of his intentions dribbles around him.
These are the sorts of kinks that can only be worked out with game-time and a general level of defensive maturity, highlighting exactly why Manchester United decided to send him out on loan for the whole of the 2017-18 campaign. Who knows? He may return to the North West and make the right-back position his own but based on what has been a patchy season for him so far, he’d be leaving Selhurst Park with mixed feedback from those who have watched him on a weekly basis.