Mourinho singles out ‘good kid’, reveals first-team plans

Date published: Friday 20th July 2018 7:55 - Matthew Stead

Jose Mourinho has revealed Manchester United’s plans for Academy starlet Tahith Chong.

Chong is one of a number of youngsters on United’s pre-season tour of the United States, and is highly rated after his time in the youth team.

He was a second-half substitute in the club’s first pre-season friendly of the summer, a 1-1 draw with Club America.

Chong was given 30 minutes to impress Mourinho, and did so by playing a key role in Juan Mata’s goal.

Mourinho has doubts over his physical “limitations”, but says the 18-year-old has a bright future.

“He was good,” he told MUTV. “He came with the intention to show and in a moment where we had no strikers on the pitch – Martial was the only one and then he left, so we had no strikers – so we needed people to create and have some initiative, which he did.

“The action for the cross for the goal was a beautiful action. He was enthusiastic and he was confident to play. Of course, physically he has his limitations and, when he had one more touch and he allowed the body contact, of course he loses. But when he makes the ball move and when he attacks people one against one, he has qualities – he’s a good kid.

“We have plans to make him train the most possible times with us because that increases his evolution. He has to play where he belongs, he has to play in the Academy and he has to work physically because physically is where he’s not ready.

“Technically he’s very good, tactically he understands the game. He understands his position. From the physical point of view, when the game gets into important situations, he’s in trouble, he’s fragile. He’s a kid, he’s still a kid, the talent is there, the personality is there, the passion, the desire to play, the humility to learn, so it’s a fantastic experience for him if he can play like today 20-25 minutes in every one of these five matches.

“If during the season, he trains with us and if during the season, he has a couple of occasions to play minutes with us, I don’t know, it depends, especially some cup matches. Of course he’s a good kid and it’s not for today, but for sure, he’s a good kid.”


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