Birmingham City have put themselves in a strong position by tapping into the potential of Tahith Chong at the start of the season.
Chong had his loan spell cut short and has returned to Manchester United to receive treatment for a groin injury that is set to rule him until the final couple of months of the season.
The 21-year-old’s contract at Old Trafford is up at the end of the season and therefore the Red Devils will be exploring permanent destinations for the Dutchman next term.
The club reserve the right to extend Chong’s deal by a further year but with the performances they got out of him and how settled he looked in a Blues shirt, Birmingham City have to throw their name into the hat as a potential suitor.
Birmingham cannot compete with a club the size of Manchester United in terms of matching the wages Chong is currently on, however with the money they brought in through the sale of Jude Bellingham a couple of years ago there could be the funds to make an attractive offer.
Lee Bowyer has improved Birmingham tenfold on the pitch and is working on the outlook of the club, of which has been very content to merely maintain their second tier status in the last few seasons.
Chong showed his quality in flashes in previous loan spells with Werder Bremen and Club Brugge but he did not influence games as heavily as he did at Birmingham. It would be a statement of intent to bring in a player with a clear high potential who is seemingly approaching a crossroads in his career.
With the influx of attacking players at Old Trafford this summer, Chong’s hopes of breaking into the first team again look like nothing but a pipedream. Staying in England would give him the chance to prove his doubters wrong in the future and keep the dream alive of becoming a regular starter in the Premier League.
Quiz: Have Birmingham City ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?
This one is quite a longshot in practicality but after a turbulent few years on and off the pitch for the youngster, a destination where he knows he will be loved by the supporters that contains happy memories could be an attractive proposition for the Blues to exploit.