Timothy Fosu-Mensah has spoken in gushing terms about Marcus Rashford, revealing he was inspired by his former Manchester United team-mate to do charity work of his own in Amsterdam.
Rashford has become one of the leading figures in the fight against child poverty in the UK, working alongside food charity FareShare to distribute more than 12m meals to hungry children across the country.
He has used his platform to help affect change on a huge scale, and Fosu-Mensah – who came through the ranks with him at United before leaving to join Bayer Leverkusen last month – says Rashford’s actions inspired him to help struggling families in his home city of Amsterdam.
Speaking to reporters in Germany, he said: “What Marcus has been doing off the field is amazing. I’ve been with Marcus, Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay and all these guys for years and to see what Marcus is doing inspired me.
“When I saw what he was doing I did something for my area in Amsterdam which made him proud. He has a very big influence, and I’m very proud of him.
“I’ve known Marcus for a long time, I know his family. He’s always been a very good guy and I’m delighted for him and how his career is going.
“I’m pretty sure he will get even better because he is a good player and a very good person.”
When asked for detail on his own charity work, Fosu-Mensah explained: “I helped 100 families to get some free groceries in Amsterdam. I think it was in the first part of the pandemic, in May. It gave me a very good feeling to be doing these things.”
Fosu-Mensah has quickly emerged as an important player for Leverkusen, starting each of their last three matches in the absence of Lars Bender, and is expected to do so again against Mainz on Saturday.
Speaking to PA earlier this week about his decision to join the Bundesliga club last month, he revealed it was purely his decision – but that he maintains a good relationship with former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“It was my decision. The manager was good to me but at the end I was not playing a lot,” the Dutchman told PA. “When you are 22, 23, 24-years-old you need to be playing. I didn’t play much and I wanted to. It was the best decision in the end to go somewhere else where I would get more minutes.
“The club and the manager were good to me. I recovered from a big injury, they helped me, gave me minutes – I played in the FA Cup semi-final and the Europa League semi-final. But it’s important to play regularly and to get my opportunity in the national team too.
“But Bayer Leverkusen is a very nice club with tradition, good people and good players.”