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Tahith Chong: A player soon to be reborn?

In May of 2019 Tahith Chong won the Denzil Haroun Reserve player of the year award at Manchester United, adding to his Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award won the previous year, as reported by the official Manchester United website. This impressive double sweep of awards was a clear indication of the potential Chong had, with the club reporting that during the 2018/19 season the winger was joint top goal scorer for the Under 23’s, one of the contributing factors towards him receiving the award. 

That season was also an important one for Chong as it was the season he made his debut for the senior team in the FA Cup against Reading, going on to make debuts in the Premier League and Champions league. All signs were pointing towards Chong breaking into the first team for the 2019/20 campaign, but unfortunately for the young player, this was not the way things turned out. 

In the 2019/20 season most of Chong’s minutes still came in the reserve team, with the winger only amassing 245 minutes in the Europa League and a mere 34 minutes in the Premier League, also making two appearances in the FA Cup and one in the EFL trophy, it’s safe to say that this was a season that stalled the progress of Chong due to a lack of playing time in games at a higher level than the reserves. 

The disappointment of this campaign led to Chong being loaned out for the 2020/21 season in order to gain crucial experience at the highest level as well as playing time. 

Chong was sent on loan to Bundesliga club Werder Bremen, with the club stating they were ‘very pleased that Tahith has opted for us’, going on to note that the player had to ‘take the next step in his development with us’, as was reported by the Bundesliga.

However, what at first appeared to be a perfect fit for Chong soon turned into a disappointing spell for the youngster, with him only making 15 appearances across all competitions for the club before January, scoring once and assisting twice. Another issue was the fact that most of these 15 appearances for Werder Bremen were as a substitute, with Chong only playing one full 90 minute game in the Bundesliga during his spell. 

The disappointing spell in Germany led to Chong being recalled in January and loaned out to Club Brugge in Belgium, with United stating that the move should ‘enable Chong to get the game time he is seeking’.  However, while Chong’s output was better in Belgium, scoring once and assisting five times, the game time was still an issue, with the winger only amassing 579 minutes across all competitions. 

This season of moving from club to club and having a disappointing amount of game time could have easily unsettled Chong and led to him having little confidence left, especially when it was announced that for the 2021/22 season, Chong would be sent out on loan once more, this time in England to Birmingham City.

Many could have been negative about a third loan move in Chong’s position, however, it is at Birmingham City this season where the young players fortune seems to be changing. Most crucially, Chong has started every game he has been available for in the Championship so far this season, something that was not happening for him at his previous two loan spells. 

This shows not only managerial belief in Chong, but an ability to play well in a notoriously tough league like the Championship.  

Chong has also grabbed two assists for the Blues and has produced performances that have already made him a fan favourite. After Chong picked up another Man of the Match award for his performance against Derby County last week, manager Lee Bowyer praised Chong highly stating the winger is a ‘credit to United’, as was reported by Manchester Evening News

Bowyer went on to say the player was hardworking and ‘beautiful to watch’. This kind of praise from a manager can only boost the confidence of a young player who is finding their feet on loan and can only be a bonus for United. 

While this start to life at Birmingham is a dream come true for Chong, the hope now is that he can continue this form and show consistency at a high level. If he manages this, it will prove to United and its fans that the now 21-year-old winger has a place in the United squad, something many were doubting last season due to his difficulties on loan. 

Chong has always been touted for big things, as can be seen with the awards he received as a youngster, and perhaps this season, we are seeing the player many believed he could be during his time at the United academy.

Written by Jennifer McCord

Loan Watch: Dalot scores goal and assist, Garner and Levitt frustration, debuts for Pereira and Bernard

Manchester United have twelve players on loan so far during the 2020/21 season; Tahith Chong, 20, at Werder Bremen, Matej Kovar, 20 at Swindon Town, Dylan Levitt, 19, at Charlton Athletic, Joel Pereira, 24, at Huddersfield Town, Aliou Traore, 19, at Stade Malherbe Caen, James Garner, 19, at Watford, Andreas Pereira, 24, at Lazio, Diogo Dalot, 21, at AC Milan, Max Taylor, 20, at Kidderminster Harriers, Di’Shon Bernard, 20, at Salford City, Max Haygarth, 18, at Brentford B and Jacob Carney, 19, at Brighouse Town. Many of the players on loan will be seeking to impress their loan clubs and United, seeking to find a way into first team football as soon as they can.

Tahith Chong

Last Match: Werder Bremen 1-1 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim – Bundesliga

Tahith Chong, 20, came off the bench in the 87th minute, replacing the injured Yuya Osako in the 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim on Sunday. Chong has not really had many minutes so far this season, starting just one match this season, which was the 4-1 defeat to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga, coming off the bench four times. Chong has played a total of 128 minutes of football this season, playing in the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal. He has scored one competitive goal in the German Cup competition and probably needs to so a lot more to get back in contention to start matches, which does not look good for him at this stage of the season.

Next Match: Eintracht Frankfurt (A) – 31 October – Bundesliga

Matej Kovar

Last Match: Northampton Town 2-1 Swindon Town – League One

Matej Kovar, 20, played another 90 minutes on Tuesday evening in the 2-1 defeat to Northampton Town in League One. Kovar saw himself conceded a further two goals for the club this season, conceding a total of 19 goals fo far this season. He will be hoping that the visit to the Kassam Stadium on Oxford this weekend will deliver an upturn in the clubs form. Swindon’s next two matches against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium and Accrington Stanley at the County Ground were suspended following recent positive COVID-19 tests at the club with players and staff needing to self isolate as per the EFL and Government guidance.

Next Match: Hull City (H) – 31 October – League One

Dylan Levitt

Last Match: Charlton Athletic 2-0 Oxford United – League One

Dylan Levitt, 19, was an unused substitute in the 1-0 victory over Blackbool in League One on Tuesday evening. Both teams were reduced to ten-men in the match with Blackpool’s James Husband sent off in the second minute and Charlton’s Ben Purrington sent off for a second bookable offence in the 39th minute of the match. Levitt then started in the 2-0 victory over Northampton Town last Saturday but was taken off at half time with Darren Prattley, who replaced Levitt scoring the opening goal of the match. Levitt was then an unused substitute in the 2-0 victory over Oxford United, a match in which Ryan Inniss was send off in the 66th minute.

Next Match: Portsmouth (A) – 31 October – League One

Joel Pereira

Last Match: Huddersfield Town 0-0 Preston North End – Championship

Joel Pereira, 24, was once again an unused substitute in the 1-0 home victory over Derby County in the Championship last Tuesday evening, the 2-1 defeat to Preston North End in the Championship on Saturday and the 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City in the Championship on Wednesday evening. It does not seem like the player is going to get many opportunities at Huddersfield this season, having been on the bench for the last nine matches without a hint of action. It really does not look good for Pereira this season, especially with the expire of his contract at United coming at the end of the 2020/21 season. It seems unlikely that United will extend.

Next Match: Millwall (A) – 31 October – Championship

Aliou Traore

Last Match: Stade Malherbe Caen 1-0 En Avant de Guingamp – Ligue 2

Aliou Traore, 19, came off the bench for Caen in their 1-0 victory over Guingamp on Saturday. He has spent the past six weeks out go action through illness, playing for the youth team earlier this month. Traore came off the bench in the 71st minute of the match, replacing Kelian Nsona. The winner came in the 90th minute through substitute Jessy Deminguet, who had been on the pitch for four minutes, assisted by Yoann Court. Traore will be seeking to get back into a starting position for his club, starting with this weekend’s clash with Paris FC, which could help him work out where his career is going to go from the end of the season.

Next Match: Paris FC (A) – 31 October – Ligue 2

James Garner

Last Match: Wycombe Wanderers 1-1 Watford – Championship

James Garner, 19, started in the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth in the Championship on Saturday but was substituted by Étienne Capoue at the start of the second half after a mixed half for Watford. Stipe Perica, assisted by Ismaïla Sarr opened the scoring in the 12th minute of the match with Bournemouth equalising in added time. Garner then came off the bench, replacing Tom Cleverley at the death in the 1-1 draw with Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday evening. Sarr opened the scoring in the 52nd minute of the match with Wycombe equalising 14 minutes later. It has been a tough week for Garner, who could be looking to start against Barnsley.

Next Match: Barnsley (A) – 31 October – Championship

Andreas Pereira

Last Match: Clube Brugge KV 1-1 Lazio – UEFA Champions League

Andreas Pereira, 24, missed the 3-1 UEFA Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund through injury last Tuesday evening. Pereira then made his debut, from the bench, replacing Luis Alberto at the start of the second half in the 2-1 victory over Bologna. Alberto scored the opening goal in the 54th minute with Ciro Immobile doubling the lead in the 76th minute. Lorenzo De Silvestri scored a consolation in added time. Pereira then made his Champions League debut for Lazio replacing the injured Patric in the 46th minute of the 1-1 draw with Brugge. Lazio opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Joaquín Correa with Brugge equalising in the 42nd.

Next Match: Torino (A) – 1 November – Serie A

Diogo Dalot

Last Match: AC Milan 3-0 Sparta Prague – UEFA Europa League

Diogo Dalot, 21, made his Milan debut last week in a 3-1 victory over Celtic in the Europa League. The 21-year-old started in the competition in his favoured right back position. Dalot played 90 minutes in the victory. He was then an unused substitute in the 3-3 draw with AS Roma in the Serie A. On Thursday evening, Dalot started for Milan in the left-back position in the Europa League against Sparta Prague. Milan won the match 3-0 – it could have been 4-0 had Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted a penalty. Dalot assisted for Rafael Leão’s goal, putting Milan 2-0 up in the 57th minute, scoring a goal himself in the 67th minute of the match to complete the victory.

Next Match: Udinese (A) – 1 November – Serie A

Max Taylor

Last Match: Chorley 0-2 Kidderminster Harriers – National League North

Max Taylor, 20, played 90 minutes in the 2-0 victory over Chorley in the National League North. The defender will be seeking to get his playing career back to full speed after beating testicular cancer last year following nine weeks of chemotherapy. He was given a one-year contract extension at United which will expire at the end of the season but was loaned to Kidderminster until January, giving him first team experience which could allow him to find full fitness and form ahead of returning to United’s U23s, which could in turn see him offered a longer contract at the Old Trafford club. His mettle was tested with cancer so has what it takes to succeed.

Next Match: Blyth Spartans (H) – 31 October – National League North

Di’Shon Bernard

Last Match: Salford City 1-1 Crawley Town – League Two

Di’Shon Bernard, 20, played no involvement in Salford’s 3-0 home victory over Southend United on Tuesday evening. Former United forward James Wilson scored the second goal of the evening for Paul Scholes’ side. He made his debut in the 1-1 draw with Crawley Town, replacing Oscar Threlkeld in the 62nd minute of the match. Former United player James Wilson put Salford ahead five minutes before Bernard was brought on but Crawley equalised in the 72nd minute through George Francomb. Bernard will be seeking to be involved in the clash with Oldham, which was the club that Scholes first managed.

Next Match: Oldham Athletic (A) – 31 October – League Two

Max Haygarth

Last Match: Hendon FC 2-6 Brentford B – London Senior Cup

Max Haygarth, 18, made his debut in the second round of the London Senior Cup in the 6-2 victory over Hendon FC on Tuesday evening at Silver Jubilee Park. Haygarth started the match on the bench and replaced Alex Gilbert in the 78th minute of the match, playing for the remaining twelve minutes of the victory. The 18-year-old will be seeking to play to a good level this season, after his debut with Brentford B, possible taking his experience back to United at the end of his loan spell with the club to hopefully propel himself into regular appearances at the U23 level, seeking to impress his manager and coaches at the club.

Next Match: Aldershot Town (H) – 30 October – Friendly

Jacob Carney

Last Match: Brighouse Town 2-0 Pontefract Collieries – NPL Division One NW

Jacob Carney, 19, made his second start for Brighouse Town on Tuesday evening in their 1-0 defeat to Pickering Town. Carney was named the Man of the Match in the defeat, which is good for the 19-year-old who will be seeking to further his career as a goalkeeper whilst on loan with the club. Carney started the 2-0 victory over Pontefract Collieries in the Northern Premier League Division One. It will be good for him to play first team football at this level, which might be seen as below the standard of U23 football at United, but will help him find his feet in the future, whether his career continues at United or beyond.

Next Match: Buxton FC (H) – 31 October – FA Trophy

Written by John Walker

Loan Watch: Bernard, Haygarth and Carney loaned out – plus see how Chong, Garner, Kovar and Taylor did

Manchester United have twelve players on loan so far during the 2020/21 season; Tahith Chong, 20, at Werder Bremen, Matej Kovar, 20 at Swindon Town, Dylan Levitt, 19, at Charlton Athletic, Joel Pereira, 24, at Huddersfield Town, Aliou Traore, 19, at Stade Malherbe Caen, James Garner, 19, at Watford, Andreas Pereira, 24, at Lazio, Diogo Dalot, 21, at AC Milan, Max Taylor, 20, at Kidderminster Harriers, Di’Shon Bernard, 20, at Salford City, Max Haygarth, 18, at Brentford B and Jacob Carney, 19, at Brighouse Town. Many of the players on loan will be seeking to impress their loan clubs and United, seeking to find a way into first team football as soon as they can.

Tahith Chong

Last Match: SC Freiburg 1-1 Werder Bremen – Bundesliga

Tahith Chong, 20, was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw to Frieburg on Saturday. The home side took the lead through Philipp Lienhart, assisted by Lucas Höler in the 15th minute of the match. The lead was short-lived with Bremen equalising through Niclas Füllkrug, assisted by Leonardo Bittencourt just ten minutes later. Chong has played just 125 minutes for Bremen so far this season and I get the impression that he will need to do a lot more to get himself into the starting XI on a more consistent basis. Granted, he’s only 20 and has just moved to a different country but I feel that he should be doing more as the bar at United is going to be very high.

Next Match: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (H) – 25 October – Bundesliga

Matej Kovar

Last Match: Swindon Town 0-2 Sunderland – League One

Matej Kovar, 20, started once against for his loan club in their League One match against Sunderland at the County Ground on Saturday. Charlie Wyke opened the scoring in the 35th minute of the match and the second goal coming from the penalty spot with Chris Maguire converting in the 57th minute of the match. It does not look like it is going to be a good season for Kovar at Swindon with him conceding 17 goals in the matches he has played in this season. Swindon had five defenders on the pitch against Sunderland and still could not find and strength. Hopefully, this will not affect the confidence of the goalkeeper, who has a positive career ahead.

Next Match: Northampton Town (A) – 20 October – League One

Dylan Levitt

Last Match: Charlton Athletic 1-0 Wigan Athletic – League One

Dylan Levitt, 19, was an unused substitute against Wigan Athletic in League One on Saturday afternoon. Jake Forster-Caskey scored the only goal of the game ion the 65th minute of the match from 30-yards, from the free-kick, sneaking it in off the post to take the lead. Levitt has played 251 minutes for Charlton so far this season, playing in the Carabao Cup and the league, seeking more first team football to aid his career. Already a regular starter for Wales under Ryan Giggs, the 19-year-old clearly has something in his locker which could aid him during his career, whether at United or elsewhere, which would be a shame if so.

Next Match: Blackpool (A) – 20 October – League One

Joel Pereira

Last Match: Swansea City 1-2 Huddersfield Town – Championship

Joel Pereira, 24, was an unused substitute once again in the 2-1 victory over Swansea City in the Championship on Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Stadium. Huddersfield took the lead in the 23rd minute of that match through Harry Toffolo, assisted by Juninho Bacuna. The the home side equalised through André Ayew from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute of the match. The away side scored the winner in the 67th minute through Josh Koroma, assisted by Richard Stearman. In the six matches that have been played so far this season, Pereira has not had a look in once and it would seem that this would be likely to continue throughout the season.

Next Match: Derby County (H) – 17 October – Championship

Aliou Traore

Last Match: Chamois Niort 3-0 Stade Malherbe Caen – Ligue 2

Aliou Traore, 19, was once again not involved in the 3-0 defeat to Chamois Niort in Ligue 2 on Saturday. Traore was ill a month ago, playing both first team matches against Clermont Foot, a 0-0 draw and against AC Ajacciom a 1-0 victory, playing 34 minutes between the two matches. He also feature three times for the youth team, playing against FC Rouen 1899, a 1-1 draw, FC Versailles, a 1-0 victory – playing 106 minutes of football before illness. On the 10th October, Traore played for the youth team once again, against Vannes, a 0-0 draw, playing 63 minutes of football. He might have a but more to do to break into the first team once more, now he is better.

Next Match: En Avant de Guingamp (H) – 24 October – Ligue 2

James Garner

Last Match: Derby County 0-1 Watford – Championship

James Garner, 19, started on the bench against Derby County at Pride Park on Friday evening in the Championship. After a tough match between the two sides, Watford scored the only goal of the game in the 76th minute of the match through João Pedro, assisted by Ben Wilmot. It looked as if Garner would not feature for his loan club in that match but in the final minute, he replaced Domingos Quina, playing one minute plus stoppage time in the victory. He came up against former United forward Wayne Rooney, who is the captain for Derby, which would have been good for him. However, it would have been better if he played more football.

Next Match: Blackburn Rovers (H) – 21 October – Championship

Andreas Pereira

Last Match: Sampdoria 3-0 Lazio – Serie A

Andreas Pereira, 24, was not involved in the 3-0 defeat to Sampdoria in Serie A on Saturday afternoon. It was the first match he was eligible to play in following his loan spell commencing at the Italian club. It was expected that he would not feature much for United this season, having had no involvement at the club since last season. To break into the Lazio side, he will need to impress, despite the fact the club has beaten just Cagliari this season, drawing against Inter Milan and losing to Sampdoria and Atalanta. He might play more first team football than he would have at United with so many players that offer so much more than him.

Next Match: Borussia Dortmund (H) – 20 October – UEFA Champions League

Diogo Dalot

Last Match: Inter Milan 1-2 AC Milan – Serie A

Diogo Dalot, 21, was an unused substitute in the 20-1 victory over Inter Milan at the San Siro on Saturday in the Serie A. Former United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace in the 13ht and 16 minutes of the match, his second goal assisted by Rafael Leão. Inter hit back though another former United forward, Romelu Lukaku, assisted by Ivan Perisic in the 29th minute of the match. Dalot will have also seen another United forward, Alexis Sanchez who came on late in the match. Ashley Young was not involved in the match or the reunion. The Portuguese right-back is a future talent by United but his participation might be a minimum in Milan.

Next Match: Celtic (A) – 22 October – UEFA Europa League

Max Taylor

Last Match: Darlington 1-3 Kidderminster Harriers – National League North

Max Taylor, 20, was loaned ot Kidderminster Harriers at the start of October, initially until January. The club have not played since the 10th October as their Vanarama National League North match against Alfreton Town this weekend was postponed. Taylor has made three starts for the club in the 4-2 penalty defeat against Alvechurch in the qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup, where he was booked, the 2-1 defeat to Chester, where he was also booked and the 3-1 victory over Darlington. Taylor might be better off with first team experience this season which might see him earn the experience to break into United’s first tea, next season, maybe?

Next Match: Chorley (A) – 24 October – National League North

Di’Shon Bernard

Last Match: Port Vale 1-0 Salford City – League Two

Di’Shon Bernard, 20, was loaned to Salford City initially until January before the closer of the domestic transfer window on Friday. Bernard was unable to play against Port Vale in the 1-0 defeat at Vale Park this weekend but will be seeking to get more first team action as soon as he can. The Ammies will be cack in League Two action on Tuesday evening at The Peninsula Stadium, welcoming Southend United where they will be seeking to get back to winning ways after their first league defeat of the season. Bernard will be looking to get his career noticed at first team level as he may be seeking to break into the United squad, which will be tough for him.

Next Match: Southend United (H) – 20 October – League Two

Max Haygarth

Last Match: Aldershot Town 3-2 Brentford B – Friendly

Max Haygarth, 18, was loaned to Brentford B before the closure of the domestic transfer window in Friday. Haygarth could feature for his loan club for the first time on Tuesday when Brentford B tase Hendon FC in the London Senior Cup at the Avenue Park Stadium. The midfielder will be seeking to find himself a regular starting place at the club, which might be tough for him. He will link up with former United academy player Ben Hockenhull, who left the club on the summer. Brentford’s academy was closed at the end of the 2015/16 season, relaunched as Brentford B and the team plays friendly matches against U21 and U23 teams home and abroad.

Next Match: Hendon FC (A) – 20 October – London Senior Cup

Jacob Carney

Last Match: Kendal Town 1-0 Brighouse Town – NPL Division One NW

Jacob Carney, 19, was only signed by Brighouse Town on Friday as the domestic transfer window closed. However, he started against Kendal Town in the NPL Division One NW, conceding the only goal of the match in the 35th minute with Emil Jaaskelainen scoring. It was good to see Carney start in his first match out on loan, with him due to remain at the club until January. It may not be the top level of football but it will be good for him to get some matches under his belt and see what he can do in the future. United have many goalkeepers in the youth ranks, so it will be a challenge to make the grade at United, hence the loan spell to see if he can do more.

Next Match: Pickering Town (A) – 20 October – NPL Division One NW

Written by John Walker

Loan Watch: Dalot signs for Milan, Pereira signs for Lazio, Garner raising his game for Watford

Manchester United have seven players on loan so far during the 2020/21 season; Tahith Chong, 20, at Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, Matej Kovar, 20 at League One side Swindon Town, Dylan Levitt, 19, at League One side Charlton Athletic, Joel Pereira, 24, at Championship side Huddersfield Town, Aliou Traore, 19, at Ligue 2 side Stade Malherbe Caen, James Garner, 19, at Championship side Watford, Andreas Pereira, 24, at Serie A side Lazio and Diogo Dalot, 21, at Serie A side AC Milan. As the summer transfer window comes to a close, there could well be more players loaned out, especially with a domestic window from the 5-16 October.

Tahith Chong

Werder Bremen 1-0 Arminia Bielefeld – Bundesliga

Tahith Chong, 20, came off the bench and played 15 minutes in the 1-0 victory over Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon. Bremen scored through Leonardo Bittencourt in the 27th minute of the match which was assisted by Jean Manuel Mbom. It sees the German side rise to sixth in the Bundesliga this season. So far, Chong has made four appearances for the club, three in the Bundesliga and one in the DFB-Pokal playing a total of 125 minutes of action so far. The 20-year-old will be hoping to play a more regular role this season, scoring more goals to add to the one he scored in the DFB-Pokal against Carl Zeiss Jena.

Next Match: SC Freiburg (A) – 17 October – Bundesliga

Matej Kovar

Peterborough 3-1 Swindon Town – League One

Matej Kovar, 20, started and played 90 minutes in the 3-1 defeat to Peterborough on Saturday. Swindon have won twice in their last four League One matches this season, but still have not picked up any points on the road. Jack Payne opened he scoring for Swindon in the eighth minute of the match but three second half goals ended the good feeling for Swindon after Jonson Clarke-Harris scored a brace in the 48th and 69th minutes, the second from the penalty spot with Ryan Broom concussing the scoring on the 78th minute of the match. Kovar has been unfortunate this season, conceding 14 goals in six appearances so far this season.

Next Match: Exeter City (H) – 6 October – EFL Trophy

Dylan Levitt

Charlton Athletic 0-0 Sunderland – League One

Dylan Levitt, 19, started in the 0-0 draw against Sunderland on Saturday in League One. The 19-year-old was booked in the 58th minute for a foul and seemed to play well for Charlton, who have set their sights on reaching the Premier League in the near future – which might be a stretch. He only played 84 minutes during the match having been replaced by Marcus Maddison. He will be happy with the game time that he has had to far this season and will be seeking to impress his manager for the remainder of the season. If you have seen Levitt play, you will know that he has the talent to succeed and playing in League One will be good for him.

Next Match: Wigan Athletic (H) – 17 October – League One

Joel Pereira

Rotherham 1-1 Huddersfield Town – Championship

Joel Pereira, 24, one again was unused substitute in the 1-1 draw against Rotherham on Saturday in the Championship. The Portuguese goalkeeper had not yet played a single minute for his loan club and looks to be rooted to the bench with Ben Hamer seen as the number one goalkeeper at the club. It makes you wonder if Pereira has any chance of succeeding anywhere or whether each loan spell will continue to be a waste of time for him as he is not playing much football at all. He seemed to be a confident and talented goalkeeper a few years back but nothing seems to be going right for him. He might player after the international break.

Next Match: Swansea City (A) – 17 October – Championship

Aliou Traore

Stade Malherbe Caen 1-0 Amiens – Ligue 2

Aliou Traore, 19, did not feature in the 1-0 Ligue 2 victory over Amiens on Saturday. In recent weeks he has been ill and is expected to still be recovering. He has played in two first team matches the season and two youth league matches, missing the last four matches for the first team. The next match for Caen will be played after the international break so Traore could be well enough to be considered for the first team after the break to the club league season. It is not yet known as to whether the player has a future at United after this season as his desire to play first team football is strong. It could well be that this is the start of a permanent exit for him.

Next Match: Niort (A) – 17 October – Ligue 2

James Garner

Reading 1-0 Watford – Championship

James Garner, 19, made another start for Watford in the 1-0 defeat to Reading at the Madejski Stadium, playing 90 minutes. It was an unfortunate result for Watford with the home side opening the scoring in the 41st minute of the match through record signing George Puscas, assisted by Tom Holmes. Garner ratted the crossbar with a stunning free-kick in the 23rd minute of the match, which looked destined for the back of the net. Garner has the talent to succeed at Watford this season and will be learning a lot playing first team football in the Championship. With the international break, he will be seeking to start again against Derby at Pride Park.

Next Match: Derby County (A) – 16 October – Championship

Andreas Pereira

Lazio 1-1 Inter Milan – Serie A

Andreas Pereira, 24, was signed by Serie A side Lazio late last week and was not involved in the 1-1 draw to Inter Milan on Sunday. Pereira has not played since last season and was not likely to get many matches at United this season based on the players they have in midfield, who are all likelier to feature more than him. It will be his third loan spell away from United and it could well be his last as he’s never really made an impact at the club. After the international break, Pereira will be seeking to break into the starting XI at Lazio and it will be interesting if he does and what position he will play in Italy. It could be the start of something for him.

Next Match: Sampdoria (A) – 17 October – Serie A

Diogo Dalot

AC Milan 3-0 Spezia Calcio – Serie A

Diogo Dalot, 21, was confirmed as an AC Milan player on Sunday as the club beat Spezia Calcio 3-0 in the Serie A. Dalot last played for United against Brighton and Hove Albion in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening in a 3-0 victory. Rafael Leão scored a brace in the 57th and 78th minutes of the match with Theo Hernández scoring in the 76th minute of the match to complete the scoring. Milan sit second in the table with nine points in three matches only goal difference between them and league leaders Atalanta. Dalot will be seeking to get some first team experience for the club this season which could commence in their next match – the Milan derby.

Next Match: Inter Milan (A) – 17 October – Serie A

Written by John Walker

Loan Watch: Levitt makes League One debut; Garner continues to show his class at Watford; Kovar tastes victory

Manchester United have just six players on loan so far during the 2020/21 season; Tahith Chong, 20, at Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, Matej Kovar, 20 at League One side Swindon Town, Aliou Traore, 19, at Ligue 2 side Stade Malherbe Caen, Dylan Levitt, 19, at League One side Charlton Athletic, Joel Pereira, 24, at Championship side Huddersfield Town and James Garner, 19, at Championship side Watford. As the summer transfer window comes to a close, there could well be more players loaned out, especially with a domestic window from the 5-16 October.

Tahith Chong

Schalke 04 1-3 Werder Bremen – Bundesliga

Tahith Chong, 20, was on the bench in Werder Bremen’s 3-1 victory over Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Saturday. The young Netherland’s international replaced Josh Sargent in the 87th minute of the match with his side 3-0 up at the time with Niclas Füllkrug scoring a hat-trick in the match. Chong’s introduction was a tactical change with the match near enough a victory at the time. However, a late consolation by Schalke’s Mark Uth meant a clean sheet was off the table. Chong has played 111 minutes of football at the club so far this season and might find himself starting next weekend against Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga.

Next Match: Arminia Bielefeld (H) – 3 October – Bundesliga

Matej Kovar

Swindon Town 4-2 Burton Albion – League One

Matej Kovar, 20, started his fifth match for Swindon Town on Saturday as the club returned to winning ways with a 4-2 victory over Burton Albion. Kovar has so far played 450 minutes of first team football for his club, conceding 11 goals with his club scoring 10 goal so far this season. The home victory over Burton saw new signing Jordan Stevens score in the seventh minute on his debut with Brett Pitman doubling the lead in the 31st minute and Mathieu Baudry putting the Robins 3-0 up in the 35th minute. Stephen Quinn scored one for Burton in the 40th minute. Swindon went 4-0 up in the 60th minute through Jonny Smith, seemingly securing the victory for his club with Burton getting a second goal through Lucas Akins in the 77th minute. It will be a good feeling for Kovar and Swindon with their second victory this season, losing three other matches.

Next Match: Peterborough United (A) – 3 October – League One

Aliou Traore

Valenciennes 1-0 Stade Malherbe Caen – Ligue 2

Aliou Traore, 19, once again played no part in Stade Malherbe Caen’s 1-0 defeat to Valenciennes in Ligue 2 on Saturday evening. The player has been missing from the past three matches (including this one) our to illness and it would seen that he has still not recovered. Traore has played two matches for his loan club so far at first team level, making two more appearances for the youth team. His development at United had reached the level whereby the player wanted to play professional level football, rather than feature for the club at U23 level, which is understandable. It is not yet know if the player has a future at United – this season will probably define that.

Next Match: Amiens (H) – 3 October – Ligue 2

Dylan Levitt

Lincoln City 2-0 Charlton Athletic – League One

Dylan Levitt, 19, started against Lincoln City in League One on Sunday afternoon. This was the first League One match Levitt has played a part in, only playing against West Ham United in the Carabao Cup on the 15 September, a 3-0 defeat for Charlton. In the eighth minute of the match, Levitt started to show his quality by digging out a shot on goal from 22-yards, but it was wide of the target. In the 31st minute of the match, Erhun Oztumer floated the ball to the edge of the box from a corner with Levitt waiting, volleying the ball which was deflected wide. Levitt that had another effort from a set-piece, which took a deflection and nearly spun inside the post. In the 77th minute of the match, both Levitt and Oztumer were replaced by Jake Forster-Caskey and Jonny Williams. Lincoln won the match 2-0 scoring in added time at the end of the first half and two minutes from time. The also had a penalty saved by former United goalkeeper, Ben Amos.

Next Match: Brighton U21 (H) – 30 September – Carabao Cup

Joel Pereira

Huddersfield Town 1-0 Nottingham Forest – Championship

Joel Pereira, 24, was once again an unused substitute in Huddersfield Town’s 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in the Championship on Friday evening. It was the prefect turnaround for the home side, who have suffered three defeats already this season to Rochdale in the Carabao Cup, Norwich City and Brentford in the Championship. It was hoped that with Ben Hamer’s recent performances that Pereira would be given a chance to try and break into the starting XI but with the victory over Forest, that might not be likely moving forward. It is not looking good for him.

Next Match: Rotherham (A) – 3 October – Championship

James Garner

Watford 1-0 Luton Town – Championship

James Garner, 19, started for the second time for his loan club this week as his club won their local derby against Luton Town in the Championship 1-0. João Pedro scored the only goal of the game in the 35th minute to put Watford back on winning ways after their 3-1 defeat to Newport County in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week; a match which Garner also started in, playing 90 minutes. So far for Watford, the 19-year-old has played 198 minutes of football, added to the 180 that he had played for United, he will be well on his way to achieving match fitness for his loan club. Perhaps he will start against Reading in the Championship next weekend?

Next Match: Reading (A) – 3 October – Championship

Written by John Walker

Loan Watch: Garner makes Watford debut; Chong suffers first big defeat of the season

Manchester United have just six players on loan so far during the 2020/21 season; Tahith Chong, 20, at Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, Matej Kovar, 20 at League One side Swindon Town, Aliou Traore, 19, at Ligue 2 side Stade Malherbe Caen, Dylan Levitt, 19, at League One side Charlton Athletic, Joel Pereira, 24, at Championship side Huddersfield Town and James Garner, 19, at Championship side Watford. As the summer transfer window comes to a close, there could well be more players loaned out, especially with a domestic window from the 5-16 October.

Tahith Chong

Werder Bremen 1-4 Hertha Berlin – Bundesliga

Tahith Chong, 20, started his first Bundesliga match at Werder Bremen ad the strugglers from last season fell to a 4-1 defeat at home to Hertha Berlin. Chong played in the left-wing role but the home side could not really do much to avert the Berliners from going 2-0 up in the first half with goals from Peter Pekarik and Dodi Lukebakio. A third goal was scored in the 62 minute through Matheus Cunha. Chong was replaced by Nick Woltemade in the 63rd minute with Davie Selke scoring a consolation goal six minutes later. Sadly for Werder, Hertha scored a fourth goal through Jhon Córdoba in the 90th minute, seeing the clubs biggest defeat of the season so far.

Next Match: Schalke 04 (A) – 26 September – Bundesliga

Matej Kovar

Blackpool 2-0 Swindon Town – League One

Matej Kovar, 20, continued in goal against League One side Blackpool on Saturday afternoon. Despite doing well against Rochdale last week, Swindon conceded two goals through CJ Hamilton in the 41st and the 47th minutes of the match. Kovar is certainly getting a baptism of fire at Swindon this season and manager Richie Wellens, the father of United academy player, Charlie Wellens, may need to put something into play in order for the club to not concede as many goals. So far this season, Kovar has conceded nine goals in the four matches he has played this season in the EFL Trophy, League One and the Carabao Cup.

Next Match: Burton Albion (H) – 26 September – League One

Aliou Traore

Stade Malherbe Caen 0-0 FC Chambly – Ligue 2

Aliou Traore, 19, has not featured in the last two Caen matches; a 3-0 victory over Rodez and a 0-0 draw this weekend against Chambly, because of illness. The midfielder has featured for the senior team as well as the youth team so far this season, playing in two matches at each level and playing a total of 140 minutes of football. The player was keep to test his ability in professional football this season, which is why he left United on loan. As a box-to-box midfielder, it could be very difficult for him but after a season of playing regularly, if that is what happens for him, he could force himself into the picture for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer next summer, providing he continues his development. It may not seem likely though given he quality already in United’s academy pushing for first team places.

Next Match: Valenciennes (A) – 26 September – Ligue 2

Dylan Levitt

Charlton Athletic 1-3 Doncaster Rovers – League One

Dylan Levitt, 19, was an unused substitute in Charlton’s 3-1 defeat to Doncaster Rovers in League One on Saturday afternoon – one of the league matches which was allowed to host up to 1,000 home supporters as the league bids to bring supporters back into the game. Madger Gomes put Rovers 1-0 up in the 25th minute with Charlie Barker scoring an own goal to put the away side 2-0 up in the 49th minute. In the 63rd minute, Rovers scored their third goal of the game through Tyreece John-Jules with Ben Whiteman grabbing the assists for the last two goals. Charlton scored a late consolation in the 67th minute through Conor Washington, assisted by Jake Forster-Caskey. Levitt played 90 minutes in the 3-0 Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham United during the week and could feature against Lincoln next weekend.

Next Match: Lincoln City (A) – 27 September – League One

Joel Pereira

Brentford 3-0 Huddersfield Town – Championship

Joel Pereira, 24, was an unused substitute in Huddersfield Town’s 3-0 defeat to Brentford in the Championship on Saturday. The Portuguese goalkeeper has yet to feature for his loan club this season, sitting on the bench for the defeats against Rochdale (Carabao Cup), Norwich City and Brentford (Championship). Huddersfield manager Danny Cowley might have seen enough of Ben Hamer for the time being, who has conceded five goals in three matches with the club only beating Bradford City, which was a friendly match. Pereira could make his debut against Forest on Friday evening, if Cowley feels a change of goalkeeper might be a change of fortunes for the club this season.

Next Match: Nottingham Forest (H) – 25 September – Championship

James Garner

Sheffield United 0-0 Watford – Championship

James Garner, 19, was loaned out to Watford late last week after playing twice for United’s U23 side this season in which his side beat Salford City 6-0 in the EFL Trophy with the midfielder getting two assists, also losing in the Premier League 2 to Leicester City. Garner was probably not expected to make his Watford debut this weekend in the 0-0 draw to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough but he replaced Domingos Quina in the 72nd minute of the match and was booked in the 88th minute of the stalemate. Watford face Newport County in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening which could see Garner make his first start with Watford seeking another win in the competition and to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

Next Match: Newport County (A) – 22 September – Carabao Cup

Written by John Walker

Loan Watch: Tahith Chong scored on his debut, Matej Kovar did well for Swindon

Manchester United have just five players on loan so far during the 2020/21 season; Tahith Chong, 20, at Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, Matej Kovar, 20 at League One side Swindon Town, Aliou Traore, 19, at Ligue 2 side Stade Malherbe Caen, Dylan Levitt, 19, at League One side Charlton Athletic, and Joel Pereira, 24, at Championship side Huddersfield Town. As the summer transfer window comes to a close, there could well be more players loaned out, especially with a domestic window from the 5-16 October.

Tahith Chong

Carl Zeiss Jena 0-2 Werder Bremen – DFB-Pokal

Tahith Chong, 20, was loaned out to Bundesliga side Werder Bremen for the entire 2020/21 season. He has played for the club in pre-season friendlies and scored a few goals for the club already. The Netherlands U21 international started on the bench in the German clubs DFB-Pokal clash with Carl Zeiss Jena. The 20-year-old replaced Yuya Osaka during the half time break and played the rest of the match. Josh Sargent scored the first goal of the game in the 49th minute with Chong scoring on his debut in the 88th minute, assisted by Maximilian Eggestein winning the game with a 2-0 scoreline and earning a place in the second round of the competition.

Next Match: Hertha Berlin (H) – 19 September – Bundesliga

Matej Kovar

Swindon Town 3-1 Rochdale – League One

Matej Kovar, 20, was loaned to League One side Swindon Town for the 2020/21 season. He has already made two appearances before this weekend in a 3-1 defeat to Charlton Athletic in the Carabao Cup and a 3-2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion U21 in the EFL Trophy, conceding six goals in the two matches. Kovar started against Rochdale in the first League One match of the season, against played at the County Ground. Swindon were 3-0 up heading into added time and Kovar had kept a clean sheet until then until Rochdale scored a late consolation three minutes into added time. It will be a confidence boost for the player, who had conceded six goals in his first two competitive matches of the 2020/21 season.

Next Match: Blackpool (A) – 19 September – League One

Aliou Traore

Rodez 0-3 Stade Malherbe Caen – Ligue 2

Aliou Traore, 19, did not feature this weekend for Stade Malherbe Caen. He has featured four times already this season, twice in Ligue 2; the 0-0 draw against Clermont Foot and the 1-0 victory over AC Ajaccio. He has also featured for Caen’s B side which plays in the Championnat National league; playing in the 1-1 draw with FC Rouen 1899 and the 1-0 victory over FC Versailles. In the coming weeks, it will be good to see the 19-year-old midfielder get more game time, whether playing for Caen’s first team or their B team. He will learn a lot more playing on the continent, which will be great for the player’s development whether he ends up being retained by United or released next summer.

Next Match: Chambly (H) – 19 September – Ligue 2

Dylan Levitt

Crewe Alexandra 0-2 Charlton Athletic – League One

Dylan Levitt, 19, was loaned to League One side Charlton Athletic for the 2020/21 season, managed by Lee Bowyer, a former player that Nicky Butt, the head of first team development at United played with at Newcastle United. Levitt was probably not expected to start the clubs first game of the season, seeing his loan spell start on the 8 September, just days before the first match of the season. Levitt was on the bench and became an unused substitute in the 2-0 away victory over Crewe Alexandra. Charlton will face West Ham United in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, so he might play a part in that match, hopefully.

Next Match: West Ham United (A) – 15 September – Carabao Cup

Joel Pereira

Huddersfield Town 0-1 Norwich City – Championship

Joel Pereira, 24, was loaned to Championship side Huddersfield Town doe the 2020/21 season. Pereira has been involved in two matches for his loan club but has not actually played for Huddersfield, remaining on the bench in both matches. The first match was 1-0 home defeat to Rochdale in the Carabao Cup with this weekend’s match a 1-0 home defeat to Norwich City in the Championship, fresh from their relegation from the Premier League last season. Pereira will need to impress his manager this season to get some minutes on the board as his contract at United will expire at the end of this season and this is his sixth loan spell away from United.

Next Match: Brentford (A) – 19 September – Championship

Written by John Walker

Tahith Chong’s loan spell with Werder Bremen on the rocks – reports

Manchester United forward Tahith Chong’s loan move to Bundesliga club Werder Bremen could well be on the rocks with the club unwilling to meet the £50,000 week wage and the loan feel to sign the player. United have shown a willingness to let the player leave the club on loan as if they end up signing Jadon Sancho, or an alternative, it will mean that Chong would not be guarantee much first team action next season in which United will be seeking to get themselves amongst the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City to win the Premier League title.

It was suggested that Werder Bremen would like to sign the player on a two-year loan spell with Chong’s current contract ending in the summer of 2022 although United have the option of adding a third year to his contract that was signed earlier this year. The 20-year-old has not played much first team football for United this season, making a total of 12 first team appearances, with no goals scored but getting two assists in the UEFA Europa League. Chong also made 10 appearances at U23 level, scoring seven goals six assists.

Germany news outlet Bild has reported that both Werder Bremen and United differ greatly in the financials for the deal with a £50,000 per week wage and a loan fee to be paid, which is something that the Bundesliga club would find difficult to match. This could see the prospective deal fall through. This could benefit United as if Chong does well in Germany, he might be able to find his feet in United’s first team when he returns to the club, or if United want to sell him, they might be able to get a much better fee than they would not utilising him.

Last week, the German clubs sporting director Frank Baumann spoke to the media giving the suggestion that the club was speaking to United regarding Chong and that several parties were involved in discussions with a lot to be clarified ahead of any agreement which was to be reached. This gave nothing away. Perhaps United will need to think about what it going to happen here and if the German club walked away, perhaps Chong could vie for a move away from the club, possible permanently. Baumann was reported by The Sun as saying:

“That we are in exchange is the case. We are in good talks. Several parties are involved. Some things still have to be clarified and we have to agree. As of now, this is not the case.”

During his time at United, Chong has risen to the challenge at academy level, performing well at U18 level and rising to the U23s, performing well there too. It is the level between U23 football and first team football that the player is not getting the upper hand and therefore a loan spell away from the pressures at United could do the player a lot of good. If a possible deal with Werder Bremen ends up not happening, United would then need to find another club interested in the player. Chong will need to be loaned to a club where he will play regular football, otherwise there would not be a point in loaning him out this summer.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United to let Tahith Chong join Werder Bremen on loan this summer

Manchester United winger Tahith Chong could be set to complete a loan transfer to Bundesliga club Werder Bremen this summer with the player seeking to develop his career. Since signing his new contract at the Theatre of Dreams, he has been used twice, both times against Linzer ASK in the UEFA Europa League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chose not to use the player for the Premier League run in despite his team being full of fatigue at the time.

The Daily Mail has reported that the German club seems to be his destination citing quotes from the clubs sports director Frank Baumann. It would seem that Werder Bremen want to sign the player on a two-year loan spell, which would be good for him as long as he is given first team appearances and continues to show his ability at the club. It might be a long spell for the player, who recently signed two-year contract at United, with a third year which could be added.

It might mean that United have to activate that to keep the player, if they allow a two-year loan spell. It could be that they allow the player to head out on loan this coming season, looking into it again next summer to see if he could be loaned out again, rather than overcommitting themselves on letting a player leave the club for what could be the remainder of his contract at United. They could allow the two-year spell, signing him on a new contract next summer, if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to keep him.

This season, Chong played a total of 12 times for United this season, at first team level, not scoring any goals but making two assists in the Europa League. At U23 level, he made a further 10 appearances, scoring seven goals and six assists. The player clearly needs a challenge to find his feet showing his ability at U23 level but not being able to step up to the kind of ability that would be needed at first team level. This could happen in Germany, giving the player confidence and experience. Bremen sports director Baumann said:

“That we are in exchange is the case. We are in good talks. Several parties are involved. Some things still have to be clarified and we have to agree. As of now, this is not the case.”

Whilst the Bundesliga club would like to sign Chong on a two-year loan spell, the loan fee and the wage for the player are yet to be finalised. It would seem that there is probably a lot of work to do on the deal but this was a rumour last week in the media and seems to be confirmed with Werder Bremen coming out and confirming that they want to sign the player, albeit on a temporary basis. It could well be that Chong does not make it at United and the German club end up signing him.

What United will be hoping though is that the player gains experience and confidence to return to United and show his ability, therefore breaking into the first team. There is some talent within him and it would be harsh to write him off just yet. Granted, he has not grown into the game like Jadon Sancho, who is of the same age but you cannot use two players of the same age as a barometer of success. Chong has the talent within and could demonstrate his ability on a game by game basis in Germany, should his transfer be approved.

Written by John Walker

Tahith Chong linked with Werder Bremen loan with agent in Germany

In March 2020, Tahith Chong ended weeks of speculation by signing a new contract at Manchester United which would keep him at the club until the summer of 2022, although there is the option for a third year to be added. However, since signing that contract, the Dutch winger made one appearance, playing 19 minutes in the 5-0 demolition of Linzer ASK in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg, also getting an assist in that match. At the time he signed his new contract, Chong, speaking to the official Manchester United website, said:

“When I joined Manchester United as a youngster, it was a dream come true. It is an honour every time I pull on the shirt and represent this club. I am working hard every day to improve and I know this is the perfect environment to develop my game.

“The opportunity to learn from the manager, his coaching staff and the world-class players here is fantastic. I am delighted to sign this new contract and really grateful for the chance to prove myself here for many years to come.”

It might not be seen as great for him to only feature once since signing his new contract but in that respect, the coronavirus pandemic stepped in after that LASK match with football suspended for at least three months and in that time, the Premier League 2 and all youth football was subsequently cancelled with players no longer training. Chong did train with United’s first team and was pictured on occasion after it was safe to return to training ahead of the Premier League restart.

However, the player was never picked for the squad of the matches United needed to play to end the domestic season. United did finish third in the Premier League, therefore playing UEFA Champions League football next season. Chong could well feature in the Europa League, especially against LASK, after being named in the squad but with United looking to win the competition, he might not be a starter if United go all the way. It would seem that a loan spell is on the table.

Chong’s agent has been in Germany, as reported by SportWitness who cite WESER-KURIER as the source which claims Bundesliga side Werder Bremen are interested in signing the player for the 2020/21 season, which would be good for the player. If United do end up signing Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, it would push the player further down the pecking order at the club, meaning he would probably not feature much or at all. Werder Bremen chief Frank Baumann is reported to have said”

“He is very fast, a real flank player and his profile fits [our requirement]. We can add two or three more players [who fit the profile].

“Borrowing players from top clubs like this can make sense to us. Because of our situation, he’s a player who could be interesting.”

However, it has been stated that the German club are not the only club interested in signing Chong but no other club is identified. It is just stated as a problem for the Bremen club, which may or may not be the case. During the 2019/20 season, Chong made a total of 11 appearances at first team level for United, scoring no goals but assisting twice – both in the Europa League. At youth level, he featured 10 more times, scoring seven goals and six assists.

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW