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Academy scout report: Tahith Chong

The wild-haired youngster is impressing in the Manchester United under-18s

Germany U19 v Netherlands U19 - International Friendly Photo by Matthias Kern/Bongarts/Getty Images

Manchester United swooped to sign 16-year-old prodigy Tahith Chong from Feyenoord in the summer.

Chong was born on the Dutch-Caribbean island of Curacao and moved to join the Rotterdam club as a 10-year-old. Having attracted the interest of several scouts from around the Continent, United had to fend off bids from rival Premier League clubs to secure the highly-rated youngster’s signature.

As a left-winger capable of playing as a striker or in central midfield, Chong’s versatility could see him settling into a multitude of attacking roles as his development continues.

But with his pace, dribbling ability and cultured left foot, the Netherlands under-17 international appears best suited to playing on the flank.

Chong has all the individual skill and trickery that are often present when studying YouTube highlight videos of the latest up-and-coming stars, but his maturity, physicality and athleticism set him apart.

Capable of dribbling past multiple opponents at speed, it is Chong’s remarkable ability to then pick out a team-mate with a clever through-ball or dangerously whipped cross that really catches the eye.

United have a long and proud tradition of fielding teams built around exciting and adventurous wingers, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s great sides in particular notable for the inclusion of the likes of Andrei Kanchelskis, Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe and Cristiano Ronaldo in the wide positions.

If, as is hoped, Chong is ready to make the jump up to senior football at Old Trafford in the next few years, he could be the man to ensure that dynamic wing-play remains a vital tenet of the Red Devils’ attacking blueprint.