Manchester United may have tied Tahith Chong down to a new contract, but the Dutch winger is unlikely to be at Old Trafford next season.
According to Bild, the 20-year-old is wanted on loan by Werder Bremen for a two-year spell. With Chong allegedly keen on the move, it would be smart for all concerned.
Predominantly a left winger, Chong’s last outing for United was at left-back, replacing Brandon Williams in the Europa League. And that could make a move to Bremen even more sensible for his long-term development.
The German side often favour a 3-4-3 formation, giving Chong the prospect of lining up as a left-sided wing-back or on the left of the front three.
The latter depends very much on the future of Milot Rashica, who looks to have played his last game for Bremen. If that is the case, Chong could be the Kosovo international’s replacement.
However, one of Bremen’s formations may allow him to also spend time further back.
United fans were impressed with Chong’s brief stint at left-back against LASK and it will be interesting to see how he develops in the years ahead.
A tale of two positions
Bremen’s Marco Friedl has played on the left side of defence for the most part this season and he has scored two goals and provided four assists in the process.
With Rashica expected to move on, Chong’s prominent positon is likely to be further forward if he does head to Germany.
If so, the United youngster will be tasked with replacing a player who scored 11 goals and set up eight more this season.
And yet Bremen’s favoured recent formation means there is more than one way the United youngster could be used.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clearly rates Chong and he will want the Dutchman to fulfill his potential while on loan. If that happens, he can then return to Old Trafford ready to prove his worth.
While Williams and Luke Shaw are going nowhere, injuries are commonplace and Chong will know he needs to impress wherever he is selected.
Bremen is an intriguing prospect for a number of reasons. Replacing a bona fide star in the front three could give Chong he confidence to kick on. And, if he is used further back on occasions, it would also tighten that other string in his bow.