Birmingham City had a very busy summer with Lee Bowyer reshaping the squad ahead of his first full season in charge.
Whilst the Deadline Day capture of boyhood fan Troy Deeney is the deal that attracted the most attention, the standout bit of business from Blues appears to be the loan move that brought Tahith Chong to St. Andrew’s.
The attacking midfielder is contracted to Manchester United and has featured in the first-team over the years, with two loan spells at Club Brugge and Werder Bremen showing how highly-rated the Netherlands U21 international is.
Therefore, bringing him in was a real coup for Blues, with Bowyer admitting as much shortly after the deal was announced.
And, Chong’s performances so far this season have backed that up. The 21-year-old has been outstanding in several games for Blues, with his energy and attacking drive crucial to a side that lacks individual quality at times without his input.
Admittedly, a return of one goal and one assist from 649 minutes isn’t amazing (Wyscout), but that doesn’t tell the whole story of Chong’s contribution.
Love the EFL? Want to share your opinions about your club? Get involved by subscribing to FLW TV on Youtube HERE!
Firstly, he has provided six shot assists so far this season, which shows that he is someone who is creating opportunities for his teammates, and that’s something he will have to maintain, with Bowyer’s side not the easiest on the eye going forward, meaning there is already a responsibility on the United loanee.
Additionally, with Chong having recorded 14 shots on target (Wyscout), it shows he is getting in good positions, so even though he needs to work on his finishing, there should be an expectancy that more goals will follow if he keeps getting these chances.
His ability to offer something different from central areas is evident with the 14 progressive runs he has made (Wyscout). That highlights what Chong is about, as he can carry the ball, beat his opponent and cause problems when he’s in possession.
Such form has already made him a marked man, with several sides quickly identifying him as the man to stop, which is why he has suffered 18 fouls, which works out at around 2.5 per game (Wyscout), a relatively high number.
It remains to be seen whether Birmingham City can get back on track as they look to push for a play-off spot this season, but, if they do, you would imagine that Chong will be key to their success.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.