Timothy Fosu-Mensah spent most of his youth career as one of Manchester United’s top prospects. His leadership skills, defensive ability and maturity showed he has the traits to excel at the first-team level. However, now he faces uncertainty regarding where he will be playing as soon as next season.
This is because manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not completely sold in extending the defender’s contract for the next 12 months. Every single Manchester United player has a clause that allows the club to extend any deal for a further year without even asking the player. Now, the Norwegian tactician must decide what to do with the 22-year-old defender.
It is believed Solskjaer wants to keep the Dutch defender around due to his versatility, but he has barely played first-team football over the last two seasons. Plus, United already have Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling on loan, Phil Jones and they are likely to pursue another centre-back this summer. If anything, Fosu-Mensah would remain around solely as a depth squad player.
What should Manchester United do with Fosu-Mensah?
Further complicating things is the fact that Fosu-Mensah’s original deal ends in June this year. If he leaves the club for free, there are several top teams willing to offer him a lucrative deal elsewhere. Do United really want to lose a 22-year-old defender with upside? Especially one that knows what is like to come up through the ranks of the club?
That’s not likely. Thus, the perfect solution would be to extend his deal but send him on loan to a Premier League side afterwards. That’s the only way to keep him around while also allowing him to win first-team experience. Fosu-Mensah is already good enough to start for several Premier League sides. One more year of first-team football would help him greatly.
Solskjaer has the final call here. However, he must be smart. Players like Fosu-Mensah do not grow up on trees. The Norwegian manager must think through this decision, because United can’t allow to pass up on another young player just to see him blossom and reach his full potential elsewhere.