Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford hopes to see Tahith Chong make a breakthrough at Old Trafford in the 2019-20 campaign.
Chong rose through the youth ranks at the Theatre of Dreams before graduating to the senior squad in 2018, having been tipped for a bright future at the top level by supporters and coaches.
The 19-year-old managed four appearances across all competitions for United last season, most notably coming on as a substitute during a stunning Champions League last 16 second-leg win over Paris Saint Germain in France.
Rashford, who was once in Chong’s shoes as a youngster desperate to prove himself, has urged the United starlet to step up and make his mark on the first-team stage.
The England striker feels his teammate needs to “express himself more” in order to force his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans, as he told United’s official website: “Chongy is a very exciting player when he’s on the ball.
“For me, you just want him to express himself more because I’ve seen him play in the Under-18s and he’ll run at a defender all day long and give them a hard time for 90 minutes.
“When he’s come to the first team, you all saw the game against Inter Milan, when he was just up and at them for the time he was on the pitch. That’s what you want to see.”
Solskjaer has expressed a desire to blood some of the younger members of his squad over the next 12 months, as he favours a youthful, energetic line up capable of executing his high pressing tactics.
As Rashford touched upon, Chong played a starring role during United’s 1-0 pre-season win over Inter and if he can replicate that kind of form in competitive matches, he could soon be a regular at Old Trafford.
Another man expected to fight for first-team opportunities this term is Mason Greenwood, who scored three goals while United were on tour this summer.
Rashford also offered his assessment of Greenwood, insisting he is “quite a laid-back” character who doesn’t really need too many instructions before going out onto the pitch.
“Mason is quite laid-back,” Rashford added. “He just likes to enjoy his football.
“I always think to myself that he’s not someone who you would necessarily give loads of information to.
“Just tell him a few bits and let him just play; that’s how he gets about with his football.”