Manchester United’s former head of youth recruitment has revealed how the club beat Chelsea to the transfer of wonderkid Tahith Chong.
Derek Langley, speaking to the Manchester Evening News, has explained how he identified the exciting young attacker, who was apparently ‘on the verge’ of moving to rivals Chelsea instead.
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“Tahith was spotted when he was 14/15-year-old playing in a tournament at Carrington. What used to be the Nike Premier Cup,” Langley said.
“He had already been tipped by our scouts in Holland and basically I followed him at that tournament and then I followed him all over Europe.
“Tahith’s parents would be the first to tell you that his form dipped slightly due to growth issues so at that time I just held fire. I carried on watching him and realised his form was coming back.
“He was on the verge of signing for Chelsea and I managed to convince his parents and the boy his future lied at United.”
United have a great track record of bringing in the best young players in the world and giving them a chance – and Chong looks closer and closer to a first-team call-up this season.
Chelsea, on the other hand, continue to overlook their youth and would most likely only have loaned Chong out to Vitesse and other clubs before cashing in on him for profit.
The west London giants have had this policy come back to haunt them in recent times, however, with Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah among those to leave them as youngsters before going on to become world class performers for their Premier League rivals.