A year ago Tahith Chong was facing an uncertain future. His contract at Manchester United was expiring, and he was reeling from an open goal miss against Astana.
The Dutchman responded well. He put in a series of strong under-23 displays and then worked his way back in the first team. Chong provided two assists in the Europa League before the lockdown.
After just one substitute appearance between June and August, Chong was sent on loan to Werder Bremen.
It is a good opportunity for him, and one he has not yet fully grasped.
Lack of action when it matters
Chong created positive headlines in pre-season when he starred for Bremen and scored in multiple games. He even netted in the German Cup against a lower division side.
His record in the Bundesliga is not so eye-catching. In fact it is pretty disappointing by comparison.
Chong has played just 183 minutes of league action for Werder Bremen out of a possible 810.
He has started only two games, and featured twice as a substitute.
The most recent of these came at the weekend when Chong played 18 minutes off the bench in a 5-3 defeat to Wolfsburg.
Chong was fouled twice in his cameo but did little of note. He will likely be back on the bench the following week. His last start came on October 31.
Werder are winless in six, although they have drawn five of these games. They sit 11th in the Bundesliga.
Really they are crying out for a game changer, a player who can turn these poor results into wins. Chong should aspire to be that player.
More time needed
This loan looked like it could be a good opportunity for Chong. Werder Bremen was a launching pad for both Kevin de Bruyne and Serge Gnabry early in their careers.
There was an initial question when Chong went on loan whether the agreement could be for two years. It was just one, but a second year may no be a bad thing for him.
If Chong were to return to United now, he would be no further forward in his quest for first team action.
He needs to win over Werder first before he can have any realistic ambitions of kicking on at United.
There is a lot of football still to be played. Werder have only played nine games of a 34 match domestic season.
We all want Chong to do well. But it would be wrong to say his loan is going according to plan at this stage. Let’s hope he can turn it around.
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