Timothy Fosu-Mensah has been handed the perfect opportunity to impress at right-back against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday after Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian were both left out of the squad that travelled to Ukraine on Wednesday morning.
The 18-year-old made his senior debut last February against Arsenal, producing a powerful performance at left-back. He went on to manage ten appearances under Louis van Gaal.
Under Mourinho, however, Fosu-Mensah’s only start has come during Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Northampton Town in the League Cup back in September.
But with Valencia and Darmian both being rested for Sunday’s game against Tottenham Hotspur, the Dutchman has received a chance to feature in Odessa.
Fosu-Mensah came into a team plagued by confidence issues and bad form, somewhat limping to fifth spot under van Gaal. Regardless, the youngster acclimatised almost instantly, displaying the raw muscle and aggression that saw him shoot through the ranks at Ajax before being snapped up by Man United.
And with the busy Christmas schedule now essentially underway, Fosu-Mensah – who was handed a new contract earlier this season – will receive the occasional chance to impress.
This is a side notably struggling in the Premier League, and a strong performance in what promises to be a hostile environment from Fosu-Menah could tempt Mourinho into handing the youngster more opportunities as the business end of the season approaches.