Werder Bremen have sealed the loan signing of highly-rated Manchester United winger Tahith Chong for the 2020/21 campaign and, here, bundesliga.com lifts the lid on the Curacao-born Dutch winger’s story so far...
Club: Werder Bremen
Country: Netherlands (6 caps for U21s)
Born in Curacao, an island off the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean Sea, Chong took up football at the age of six in his home country that he describes as “paradise” before joining traditional Dutch heavyweights Feyenoord as a 10-year-old in 2009. The 6’1” winger spent seven years in Rotterdam before opting to continue his development with English Premier League side Manchester United in July 2016. Only 16 at the time, he headed to the UK with his parents in tow. Chong scored four goals in 15 appearances for the club’s U18s in his first season before a cruciate ligament injury brought his 2016/17 to a premature end.
The youngster - who has represented the Netherlands 48 times at youth international level - came back strongly the following year, and won the academy’s Young Player of the Year award in May 2018 before winning the Reserve Team Player of the Year award for 2018/19. By 2019, Chong had also made his senior debut for United, as a substitute in January’s FA Cup tie against Reading, and he would go on to make his Premier League bow in March 2019, coming on in the dying seconds of a 3-2 win over Southampton. Now 20, Chong has played a total of 20 times for United’s first team, with three substitute outings in the Premier League across the 2019/20 campaign and six run-outs in the UEFA Europa League last term - including appearances in both legs of United’s last-16 win over LASK Linz.
Plays a bit like: Filip Kostic
Quick, athletic and boasting a wand of a left-foot, Chong himself cites Ryan Giggs and Arjen Robben as major influences on his playing style, but Eintracht Frankfurt flier Filip Kostic probably bears most similar resemblance. Like the Serbian left-winger, Chong looks at his electric best when driving beyond his man, getting to the byline and whipping in crosses for his teammates.
Did you know?
If it wasn’t for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Chong may never have taken up the game. “I hadn’t had any interest in football until the 2006 World Cup final. Literally none at all,” he told manutd.com in January, 2020. “Dad, being a football man, was watching it and I sat there watching it too. And I was supporting France, for some reason, I don’t know why. I didn’t even know the rules. I didn’t know anything about it. I was supporting France and that was where it all started. I was rooting for them so I was crying afterwards when they lost. Things changed for me, after that.”
What they’re saying
“A direct winger, always looking to beat his man really. That would probably describe me the best I think.” – Chong on what words best describe him
”Tahith works extremely hard every day and he is constantly improving. His performances this season, whether for the first team or Under-23s, are testament to his hard work, dedication and to his character… Tahith has great potential. Given his age, ability and work ethic, we can see that he has a bright future at Manchester United.” – Manchester United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier this year
"He's a technically good player who can play on either wing. He also possesses great pace, which will help our play. He's still at the start of his career and we want to support him in achieving his potential." - Bremen head coach Florian Kohfeldt