Mensah reveals Salzburg ambitions after Uefa Youth league exploits

Mathias Kniepeiss
Exclusive: The 19-year-old talks about his targets with the Austrian giants

Red Bull Salzburg youngster Gideon Mensah is bidding his time for a permanent place in the club’s first team set-up despite a burning desire to play at top level.

The left-back, who mostly spends time with feeder side Liefering, was unarguably one of the brightest spots as Salzburg won a historic Uefa Youth league trophy last season.

On the back of such an outstanding performance, it has only been normal that many are looking out for the next step of the 19-year-old.

“I’m not in a rush because it was just my first season in Europe,” Mensah told Goal.

“I don’t have to rush in going to another club or level. I just have to take my time. When the right time comes for me to move on, I will. I still have more time to learn.

“I have to work on my physique. I have to work on my endurance. I’m still looking up to God to open doors.”

That said, the youngster will not let any chance pass him by. He has lasted the full duration of Liefering’s opening two matches of the new campaign.

And after making the team of the week on matchday one, Mensah believes the breakthrough may just be around the corner.

“I hope to become a first team regular very soon because I spent the whole pre-season with the first team; it was a good time for me,”said, the full-back.

“Now I move between the first and the second team. I’m with the second team more, just so I could get more playing time. It wouldn’t take long.

“The teams in the second league are good but not as strong as the ones in the first league, so I have to work more to improve. Should I get a chance in the first team now, I wouldn’t have problems, I will just need to work hard and prove myself.”

He then reflects on the Uefa Youth League triumph, revealing why he was particularly excited to get one over co-finalists Benfica.

“I thank God for that achievement in my career. I was not so surprised because it didn’t come by chance,” Mensah added.

“It wasn’t in my plans to win the Uefa Youth League but it happened that I had to play in the competition, so I just had to work towards lifting the trophy.

“It’s the first time Red Bull Salzburg has won the trophy, so I’m glad to be part of the team.

“I also had to play against my ‘former’ club Benfica because I was with them on trial before joining Red Bull. It was great to play against them and the same players with whom I trained in Portugal. I was happy to show them that I’m a good player and can also win trophies.”

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Mensah joined Salzburg from Ghana Premier League side Wafa last year, signing a five-year deal.