Last weekend, Manchester United continued their rich history and tradition by handing a debut to yet another youngster.
This time, it was Tahith Chong’s turn. The 19-year-old Dutchman was given huge applause as he took to the hallowed Old Trafford turf for the first time, and in fact, he already has his own song (thanks to the excellent support from the singing section in L Stand).
Every time he touched the ball, Chong was looking to make something happen with his pace, directness, skill and sheer talent. It comes as the perfect time, too. Right-wing has turned into a real position of need for United over the last season or so – as nobody has really been able to make that spot in the team their own.
Jesse Lingard does alright out there, while Juan Mata keeps being tried in that spot but he just doesn’t have the legs for it. Enter Chong, who can see an opening for himself – and rightly so.
Giving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer big money to spend in January would be a mistake, so with that in mind, the Baby Faced Assassin will have to rely on the current crop of players to force United back into the top four.
Genuine question, out of Chong and Mata, who would you like to see start on the right-wing? My answer is the former, and to be honest it isn’t even close.
I look at it like this, Solskjaer and Chong both have nothing to lose. If it doesn’t work out, the bushy-haired attacker will head back to the reserves for a few months, while our manager will face no ramifications at all. If it pans out perfectly, though, Chong will likely earn himself a big contract and a regular spot in the team. As for Ole, he’d be heralded a hero and the chances of him staying permanently greatly increase.
It just feels like a win-win. Chong clearly has the hunger, ability and willingness to succeed. He could certainly have an immediate effect like Marcus Rashford did, and that youthful exuberance could carry him through this season at the very least.
No doubt Chong will be hoping to get another opportunity in the FA Cup fourth round. Perhaps this time he’ll get a start, or maybe he’ll be joined by his pals Mason Greenwood and James Garner…