Churchill once noted: “Never in the history of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few,” had the wartime leader been around today and stood on the Stretford End, he may well have opined: “never in the history of Manchester United has one player been loved by so many, for so few games.” As is the case with Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
Ask almost any United fan what they think of the 21 year-old Dutchman and the comments will range from adulatory to downright worshipful such is the high esteem the youngster is held by much of the faithful. When Jose Mourinho sent TFM – as he’s known to the Twitterati – out on loan first to Crystal Palace then to Fulham it was as though the then Reds’ manager had ripped up the United Trinity statue and replaced it with a fibreglass effigy of Michael Jackson, Cha’mone, muthaf*cka.
Jose’s lack of belief in Fosu-Mensah was put down to the manager’s lack of belief in youth rather than any lack of talent or consistency from the defender. Despite a difficult season for the Eagles as they set an unwanted record of no points from their first seven games, Fosu-Mensah did play his part in keeping Palace in the top flight, starting 17 games and being praised for his performances.
When Palace managed an unlikely 0-0 at home to all-conquering Manchester City it was TFM who received much of the plaudits, even being labeled the ‘toughest defender’ he has faced by Leroy Sane. In the summer there was hope among many United fans that the defender would be given a chance this season but Mourinho decided to loan him out to Fulham, a move that despite being unpopular seems somewhat justified as Fosu-Mensah has been told he can now leave Craven Cottage by new manager Claudio Raneiri to make room for January target, Chelsea’s Gary Cahill.
The Fulham boss noted:
“I don’t know, if United want him, he can go because with me he does not play often and I understand he is young he needs to play. This moment for me is very, very important to achieve our goal. Our goal now is to save Fulham.”
With new United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, seemingly determined to give youth a chance, the return of Fosu-Mensah could be a good move all round, giving Fulham the chance to sign Cahill, TFM the opportunity to resurrect his United career and Reds another reason to get behind the popular Dutchman.