Tahith Chong was back in pre-season training with Manchester United this week.
But he has now joined Birmingham City in the Championship on a season-long loan.
Lee Bowyer’s Blues finished 18th in the second tier last term and he will hope to improve on that in his first full campaign in charge.
Chong, 21, certainly seems thrilled to be there and he told Birmingham’s official website: “I’m excited to get started.”
“Excited to get to know my new teammates and everyone at the club. I spoke to the manager here and heard about the plans the club has for this season and for me as well.
“He spoke to me about some improvement points and I’m looking forward to working with him. I want to come here and become a better player and develop.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to know the Championship and to see what it brings. I’m a player who likes to get at players, like to dribble and beat players. I’m fast and I’ll try to bring that to the team.
“I’m looking forward to the season and to meet all the fans. I think I’m even more excited than they are!”
Chong to keep training with United
Interestingly, Chong won’t join up with his new club straight away. He’ll keep training with United for the first part of the pre-season schedule.
Then, at an agreed date later this summer, he’ll make the move to St Andrew’s to link up with Bowyer’s squad.
It’s not entirely clear why that is and it’s not common. Maybe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants a proper look at him before sending him away.
Maybe with players coming back late from the Euros and Copa America, United need the numbers in the early stages of the summer.
Chong’s other loan spells have been abroad, with Werder Bremen and Club Brugge. Neither could be seemed an unqualified success.
He now has the chance to get experience of regular football in England, which will help him.
The most important thing is to play regularly wherever he is. He’ll have to show he’s robust enough to deal with the demands of the Championship and that’s a new challenge. But he’s clearly keen to get started and impress.
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