Tahith Chong is enjoying his football but will not get carried away after a string of great performances

Manchester United Academy star Tahith Chong has stated that he will not get carried away after making a name for himself at the club, playing for the U18’s and now the U23’s this season. The 18-year-old, who recovered from a serious knee injury earlier this season, seems to have made a real impression of himself playing in the higher age group and some supporters have suggested he and teammate Angel Gomes should be involved in the first team this season.

Chong scored against Tottenham Hotspur at U23 level earlier in the year in his debut at Old Trafford and has followed that by putting in some great performances, looking the part in the side. The U23’s have not been great this season and are certain to be relegated to Division Two of the Premier League 2, which is what they deserve and could be the best way to blood in a whole new team of youngsters. Chong was born in Curacao but plays at youth international level for the Netherlands is loving being able to play football again.

The 18-year-old had to undergo a knee operation last year after he was injured playing for the U18’s against Everton, spoke to the official Manchester United website about his return to form, moving up to the U23’s and developing in a bit to earn the chance to play first team football for the Old Trafford club. Chong said:

“Obviously it’s good playing for the Reserves, coming back from the injury as well. It’s been good to play a couple of games for the Under-23s but I’m still happy if the Under-18s or anyone needs me to play with them as well.

“Honestly, you miss it when you get injured so I’m just happy to be back after obviously being out for 10 months. I’m enjoying my football at the moment, that’s the most important thing.

“When you know you’re out for 10 months, you’ve just got to get on with it and do the work, while still enjoying it as well. Even when I got injured, my team-mates, straight away, and the staff were just brilliant. That made it much easier for me, as did my family as well.

“I worked hard on the recovery work and tried to do everything right, as the staff were instructing me to do, so I could come back as strong as possible.

“I think it depends on how you see it as, looking back, it was a year ago now and it’s gone quickly. But, when I was injured, it felt like a long time. As I said, I’m just happy to be back now.”

Chong will face a big challenge to stay grounded after receiving so much positive feedback for his recent performances. It certainly shows the type of player Feyenoord lost. This season, Chong has made six appearances, scoring five goals at U18 level, playing twice at U19 level, assisting one goal, then playing another six times at U23 level, scoring one goal and assisting another. That is a total of 15 appearances at all youth levels this season, scoring six goals and two assists. Speaking about his performances and enjoying his football, Chong concluded by saying:

“That’s the most important thing. As I’ve said, I’m just enjoying football at the moment and I will keep working hard and take it from there.

“I want to keep playing games, hopefully I’ll keep getting them in the Under-23s and the Under-18s are doing well, top of the table, so, if they need me as well for whenever, I’ll be there as well. Everyone at the club will help me. It’s just how the club is built. Having my family around as well makes it a lot easier.

“Character is important and I’ve just got to keep working hard and doing my job. I’ll take it game by game.”

I am sure Chong will go from strength to strength. I am not sure he is ready for the first team yet but towards the end of the season, when United have secured their finishing place in the Premier League, Jose Mourinho may look at what he did last season, blooding in Demetri Mitchell, Josh Harrop, Angel Gomes, also allowing Axel Tuanzebe, Joel Pereira, and Scott McTominay to continue their development playing for the first team. The world is waiting for Tahith Chong and I look forward to seeing him develop even further.

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