Werder Bremen have potentially pulled off quite the transfer coup with the announcement of the one year loan signing of Manchester United youngster Tahith Chong. The 20-year-old right winger was being touted as a potential bargaining chip in the Red Devils pursuit of Jadon Sancho, so the Grün-Weißen managing to bring him to the Weser Stadion is impressive.
The last signing from a big Premier League side made by Werder was that of Serge Gnabry in 2016 and if Chong has anywhere near the impact the Frenchman had, then Frank Baumann will have pulled off an excellent piece of business.
Aside from a very impressive hairstyle, there is a lot of potential in the young winger, who it has been said of ‘has hair like Fellaini, feet like Messi’. Born on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao, Chong’s family moved to Rotterdam, where he joined the youth ranks of Eredivisie club Feyenoord aged 10. Spotted by Manchester United scouts, he moved to Old Trafford aged 16.
A serious cruciate knee-ligament injury forced him out of action for ten months, but he was soon knocking on the door of the United first team and made his debut in January 2019 as a substitute in an FA Cup tie. He then made his Premier League and Champions League debuts as a sub soon after. To date he has made 15 first team appearances (three starts).
Despite not having made too many first-team appearances, he is highly rated and this March, Chong signed a new contract that will keep him at United until 2022, with the option to extend a further year. Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said at the time, “Tahith has great potential; given his age, ability and work-ethic, we can see that he has a bright future at Manchester United.”
With the Bundesliga’s growing reputation for blooding young talent, a loan spell will help both the player to gain experience and Werder to potentially replace Milot Rashica.
What’s his game?
Chong is versatile enough to play on either wing, but he tends to start most regularly on the right-hand side. He is not a typical touchline-hugging winger though and does drift around the pitch as he sees fit, cutting inside on to his favoured left foot when possible.
The youngster’s most notable attribute is without doubt his dribbling. He does possess and excellent work-rate (as you’d expect from a United graduate) and he shows a great willingness to track back and help-out defensively. He often instigates attacking moves from deep inside his own half. He has the ability to take players on at speed meaning he is a good weapon to have when transitioning from defence into attack.
He is adept at identifying and exploiting space ahead of him and is very difficult to man-mark due to his roaming. His pace, control, balance, and work ethic remind a little of former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs and Werder would be delighted to have even a fraction of the skill and impact the Welshman provided.
What they’re saying
Frank Baumann: “We’re delighted that Tahith has decided to join us. He’s a talented youngster with real potential, who has already gained some experience at the highest level with Manchester United. Now he will have to get used to the Bundesliga and take the next step in his development with us.”
Florian Kohfeldt: “He’s a very technically gifted player who can play on both wings. He’s also really fast, which will help our game. Defensively he has potential for development – he’s still only at the start of his career and we want to help him continue fulfilling his potential.”
Tahith Chong: “First of all, I’m happy to be here and I’m looking forward to pre-season training with the team. This move is a great opportunity for me to develop. I’m looking forward to next season.”