Leroy Sane and Manchester City have been on another level to their Premier League opponents so far this term but the talented wide man admitted recently that one or two opponents have got the better of him since August, including Palace loanee Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
The last week has seen Pep Guardiola pick up his first trophy in English football with an utterly dominant victory over Arsenal in the League Cup Final, followed up by a similarly impressive display at The Emirates a few days later but back on New Year’s Eve, the boys in sky blue were given a far tougher time by a Palace side battling for their lives to avoid the drop.
That day, Roy Hodgson’s men played out of their collective skins with the aforementioned Fosu-Mensah having arguably his best performance in a Palace shirt. Used on the right-hand side of our back four, the United loanee kept Leroy Sane quiet throughout despite the visitors enjoying the lion’s share of possession; a fact that the German clearly hasn’t forgotten about in the months that have passed since.
You would think, regardless of whether or not Roy Hodgson manages to guide us to Premier League safety by May, that Tim will be returning to Old Trafford when his current loan deal expires. For the Reds, this year was all about making sure that the Dutchman has what it takes to play week in, week out in the top flight and having been embroiled in a battle for survival from the opening weekend of the season, it’s fair to assume that he’s had a few edges knocked off him whilst being a part of the Palace squad.
There are undoubtedly still a few areas in which Fosu-Mensah will need to steeply improve his game if he is to retain a place in the Manchester United first-team over the next few years but when you consider the fact that he’s still only 20, there remains a huge amount of time for him to learn the tricks of the trade and flourish on the big stage.
In truth, his display against Manchester City on the final day of 2017 gave us all a glimpse of what Tim is truly capable of when at the top of his game. If he can start to pull out performances like that each week, the likes of Leroy Sane are going to be fretting about him for many years to come.