Tahith Chong says he is already thinking about staying with Club Brugge next season – but his future will depend on Manchester United.
Chong has been a Man Utd player since joining their academy from Feyenoord in 2016. After making 16 first-team appearances, he left on loan for Werder Bremen last summer. But that spell did not go to plan for the winger, so he made the switch to Brugge in January.
He will be on loan in Belgium until the end of the season. After that, United will have to work out a plan for the 21-year-old. With just one year left on his contract by the summer, his parent club must decide whether to keep him, loan him out again or sell him.
Chong, for his part, can envisage spending another season in Belgium – as his coach has already hinted at.
“Staying here for another year could give me stability, but that’s for later,” he told Sport/Voetbalmagazine (via Sport Witness).
“As far as I know, there is no option in the agreement; we will have to discuss that with Manchester United later.
“I like Belgium, it is a bit the same as the Netherlands. Something that is in my head: that by staying here maybe a little more stability can come, but it is now super difficult to fully focus on that.”
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So far, Chong has made eight appearances for Brugge. In those games, he has provided four assists and scored one goal for himself.
His early form there seems to be justifying his belief that it would be the ideal next destination for his development.
“We thought choosing Brugge was a good next step,” he added.
“I already knew the club from a year ago, from the Europa League and we follow Belgian football a bit. I knew quite a bit about the team.
“Personally, there are still ups and downs here. The team helps me settle down enormously, but it is pushing until the end of the season. I have to get used to the rhythm: playing five, six games in a row; I never did that before.
“Different football, different team, some illnesses, more strength, physical duels. The last matches were pretty tough in terms of the latter. I experienced something against Leuven that I had never had experienced before: man on man.
“Usually there is someone in your zone, but this time I had a guy who followed me everywhere, even when I switched sides. The trainer had also warned us about this, but I did not expect it to be that exaggerated.
“You learn from that too. You have to put your football brain to work and ask yourself: how do I get out of this?”
Chong wants to add more to game
While Chong has made a decent impression so far in Brugge, he is still hungry for more.
He is yet to score in the Belgian top flight, with his only goal so far coming in the cup. Hence, it is an area of his game that he is hoping to improve.
“I now have to add the end product to my game,” Chong said. “More goals, more assists.
“That will come once I get to know the players a bit better. Knowing that Bas [Dost] will do this, that Ruud [Vormer] will be there, things like that.”