Manchester United loanee Tahith Chong has revealed the role that Jesse Lingard played in his move to Birmingham City.
The 21-year-old joined the Blues on a season-long loan deal in July and has quickly become one of Lee Bowyer’s key attacking players.
Chong has missed just one game since arriving at St Andrew’s and will be hoping that he can continue to impress as the season wears on, likely with an eye on first team football at Old Trafford next season.
He wouldn’t be the first United player to benefit from a loan move to the Blues and will surely be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Lingard, who dazzled in a short spell in the 2013/14 campaign.
Speaking to the Manchester club’s website, Chong revealed that his Red Devils teammate had played a small role in his move to the Championship club.
He said: “Before I left, I spoke to Jesse, just briefly, about [Birmingham being a big club] as he’s been here as well.
“So I spoke to him and he explained a bit about the club so I already had kind of an idea. It’s always different when you experience it yourself but I have got to say it has been fantastic for me.”
Chong added: “Jesse just said about the fans – if you work hard on the pitch and all the stuff like that then the fans can help you through games. And the players too.
“I just came in and really liked the experience. I just wanted to listen to the staff and players and what they wanted me to do and tried to get on with that.”
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The Dutchman’s next chance to impress in a Birmingham shirt looks set to come against West Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
It appears that Birmingham fans have Lingard to thank for playing a minor role in Chong’s move to St Andrew’s.
They’ll love to hear how highly the United winger speaks of their club and the fanbase – particularly given it’s been a fair few years since his short loan spell.
If Chong can emulate Lingard’s 2013/14 form, when he added six goals and three assists in 13 appearances, this term it will prove to be a very positive loan move indeed.
The 21-year-old has been impressive since making the move from the North West but will be hoping to contribute more in the final third in terms of goals and assists.
Chong is yet to score for the Blues and has provided two assists in 10 games.