Without a standout candidate for the right-wing spot, Manchester United have been linked with a move in excess of £100m for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, a transfer that would give them arguably Europe’s most precocious player in his position.
In the meantime, the Red Devils have been squeezing a number of square pegs into round holes in their search for a capable candidate to occupy the position.
Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez have all played out on the right of an attacking three, and all have failed to show enough to prove that they should start in the position.
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As a result, Sancho’s potential arrival is a necessity, and one that could solve the problem for the next decade – however, he alone isn’t enough to fill the void. He needs an understudy.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needn’t take to the market again to find one though. United have one within their ranks already in Tahith Chong.
The 19-year-old has already made his first-team debut for the club in the FA Cup tie against Reading, and you simply can’t miss his tall, frizzy-haired appearance running rings around innocent full-backs out on the pitch.
A Holland Under-21 international, Chong is a left-footed right-winger who enjoys cutting in on his stronger foot to great effect – he has seven goals and three assists for the youth team this season.
Chong has also already made his Premier League and Champions League debut this term, coming on in the latter stages of a 3-2 win over Southampton, whilst also playing a role in United’s incredible comeback win over Paris Saint-Germain inside the Parc des Princes.
United’s No.44 is a true throwback of a wide player, a touchline-hugger who is always looking to take on his man and burn past him with ease – his lanky, skinny frame but blistering pace is a strange but effective combination.
He has only been drip-fed first-team football, however, whereas Sancho is leading the assist charts in Europe and is also performing to a ridiculously high level.
In that respect, United would be wise to have Chong model himself on Sancho and become his understudy, whilst the pair focus on repairing the club’s weak right-wing position together.