Manchester United youngster Tahith Chong has made a very positive early impression on loan at Birmingham City.
This weekend Chong’s Birmingham go up against Derby County in the Championship in the Friday night kick-off.
Chong kicked off his season with a goal for Manchester United against Derby in the club’s opening pre-season match, before he left on loan.
Derby boss Rooney knows all about the danger the Dutchman will pose his side.
Speaking at his press conference reported by BirminghamLive, Rooney said: “He’s a very talented player, he played against us in pre-season and yeah, he’s an impact player, he has good moments in the game.
“So, of course, we’ll have to be wary of him and make sure we’re on our toes and we’re defending well against him because if we give him time and space, then he’s a player who can really hurt you.”
Fan favourite at Birmingham already
Chong has earned rave reviews at Birmingham during the opening four Championship games he has played, in which he has one assist.
The 21-year-old has played in a more central midfield role as well as out wide, and it has been his defensive work rate which has most endeared him to the home fans.
A positive start was exactly what Chong needed after mixed loan stints last season in Werder Bremen and Club Brugge.
Chong’s game can sometimes be unrefined and chaotic, and that suits the Championship’s hustle and bustle style. He has had a lot of success in United’s academy and demonstrated that there is a top player in there, and it has just been a case of trying to find a senior club situation where he gels.
There is still a long way to go. The Championship season is 46 games long. Chong has not made it at Birmingham yet.
Friday night’s game is a big one for him. He goes up against a team and opponent who know and rate him highly, and they will set out to try and stop him.
The match will also be televised on Sky and Chong will know there may be a few United fans watching on to see how he fares. The praise from Rooney may also factor in for him if he hears in.
It will be interesting to see how Chong handles all that pressure and if he can put together a strong performance. His reputation will grow if he does.
Birmingham currently sit in 8th place with Rooney’s Birmingham in 15th.
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