Clayton Blackmore: Tahith Chong can be Ryan Giggs’ successor at Manchester United
Tahith Chong could 'go the distance' and follow in the footsteps of Ryan Giggs at Manchester United , according to academy insider Clayton Blackmore.
The shaggy-haired teenager has made a big impact at Old Trafford since joining the club from Feyenoord in 2016 and has made the step up to the club's reserves after 10 months out with a serious knee injury.
Jose Mourinho watched Chong score on his debut for the U23s at Old Trafford last month and has since revealed the 18-year-old has trained with the first team.
Former United defender Blackmore, who spent seven years as an academy coach at the club between 2010 and 2017, played a pivotal role in the Dutch youngster's move to Manchester.
It was Blackmore who encouraged academy chiefs to sign Chong after watching a clip of him playing for Feyenoord at the age of just 14.
The Welshman has been impressed by how the academy have handled the winger since his return from injury and expects big things from him if he keeps on the same path.
"The second I saw him I said, 'We have got to get him'," he told MEN Sport. "The closest player I've seen to filling Ryan Giggs' boots was Angel Di Maria but Mr Van Gaal did not play him in the right position.
"He [Chong] could be the next one. He's playing on the wing, looking really good running with the ball as well like Ryan. He's done well since coming back from injury. He can go the distance.
"There are lots of pitfalls - keeping away from injury, not getting dragged down by the wrong people, knuckling down. He's come back from a really bad knee injury and the club have to look after him."