Manchester United’s Tahith Chong has joined Birmingham on loan this year, following his stints in Germany and Belgium last season. He spent the first half of the last season on loan with Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga before moving to Club Brugge in January, where he scored one and assisted four in 13 appearances as Brugge went on to win the league.
Chong made his Birmingham debut against Sheffield United and got a few shots away. With Birmingham 1-0 up, Chong could have had an assist to his name but Maxime Colin’s goal was ruled out for a foul.
His next appearance was in the 2-0 home defeat against Bournemouth and while the result was disappointing, Chong put in a great shift. Creating chances as well as carving them out for himself, the local paper couldn’t sing his praises enough. “He is looking the real deal. Everything good about Blues against Bournemouth went through him.”
After the game, Chong spoke to the club’s official site about his disappointment over the result and his hopes to improve in their next game against Luton.
It’s tough to take but that’s the best thing about football because we’ve got a couple of days and then we have to go again on Saturday. We’ll look back at this game and analyse what we could have done better as a team and hopefully we can make that right on Saturday.
It felt nice to hear the fans, they’ve been very welcoming ever since I came in. I’m very grateful for that and appreciate them a lot. It was nice and I wish we could have given them a better result to go home with but we’ll try to make that right on Saturday.
The local paper again was full of praise for our young forward, saying: “How Blues have managed to sign Chong in the Championship is anyone’s guess. Absolutely everything went through the Dutchman and he was joyous to watch. Hogan was the beneficiary of Chong’s brilliance with two goals put on a plate for him. Chong’s first assist was a delightful chip into the box, with his second a rapid run from well inside his own half that ended with Hogan getting a simple tap-in.”
Luton manager Lee Bowyer echoed the praise and admitted he’s surprised with how well Chong has played in his opening games.
He glides past people doesn’t he, with ease. It’s beautiful to watch for me as manager, and for the supporters, whether he’s in your team or the opposite team. He’s a talented boy, but he’s a talented boy that’s learning. He’s still learning the game.
The first half, the first 20 minutes before they changed shape, I thought he let them off the hook a little bit. He’d go past one and he could have carried on and got shots off but he didn’t, he passed. Then in the second half, I said to him, ‘Look, be more attack-minded and go past one, go past two and get your shots off’. And he did that in the second half. He learned today. It’s just recognising when to dribble, when to pass and when to shoot and that’s why he’s here on loan with us.
I knew he was a good player but I have to say that he’s surprised me. Do you know, as good as he is in possession, his work-rate out of possession is outstanding for a young lad. He’s just come to us and it’s like, ‘This is how you play if you want to play for us, you work hard out of possession’, and he’s like, ‘OK, no problem’.
Whatever you ask him to do he’ll do. He’s low maintenance with a great attitude and just wants to improve. He wants to excite people and I just want him to score a goal because his performances since he’s been here, he deserves one. But that will come with time. I think today he’s had three shots on target, maybe more, so his goals will come but he gives us something a little bit different.