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Birmingham City’s £1.5m deal with Man Utd made them money, it could have been different though

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Birmingham City made a lot of personnel changes prior to the 2022–2023 Championship season, but few were as high-profile as Tahith Chong.

That summer, Chong made the permanent switch from the Blues, where he had played for the whole 2021–2022 season. The Championship team had anticipated that Chong’s stay would have been longer.

Birmingham City signed Tahith Chong for £1.5 million

Tahith Chong

Tahith Chong’s stint with Birmingham City in the 2021/22 season marked his third loan spell away from Manchester United, following previous experiences at Werder Bremen and Club Brugge.

Upon joining Birmingham, Chong likely saw it as an opportunity to showcase his abilities in English football and potentially earn a place back at Manchester United. While he did impress during his time with the Blues, Manchester United opted not to recall him and instead made the decision to sell him permanently to Birmingham.

Birmingham officially announced the signing of Chong towards the end of the 2022 summer transfer window, with reports suggesting the deal cost the club around £1.5 million. Some observers may have considered this a significant investment, especially considering Chong’s limited first-team appearances for Manchester United, totaling just 16 games.

Nevertheless, Birmingham expressed satisfaction with securing Chong on a permanent contract, anticipating his long-term presence at the club. However, his tenure at Birmingham ultimately proved shorter than expected.

Birmingham City’s Tahith Chong deal made them money, but it could have been different

Tahith Chong Birmingham City

Birmingham City signing Tahith Chong for a fee of £1.5 million was good business for the club, given his ability and what he could bring to the club.

The Blues got the midfielder on a five-year contract, so they were hoping it was going to be a player that was with them for the long term.

Tahith Chong’s 2022/23 Championship stats for Birmingham City Total
Matches played 38
Minutes per game 75
Goals 4
Goal frequency 715 mins
Shots per game 1.5
Goal conversion 7%
Big chances missed 4
Assists 5
Big chances created 5
Key passes 1.2
Average rating 6.83
Stats as per Sofascore.com

In his debut season with the Championship side, he showcased an impressive performance, starting in 35 out of 38 games, scoring four goals, and providing five assists, according to Sofascore.com.

Although his goal conversion rate stood at just 7%, he remained proactive in front of goal, averaging 1.5 shots per game, with half of them on target. Despite missing four significant scoring opportunities, his creative prowess shone through, as he generated five big chances for his teammates, resulting in 1.2 key passes per game.

For a newcomer to the league, Chong’s debut season was commendable. Birmingham City likely anticipated his growth and improvement over time. However, their plans took an unexpected turn in the 2023 summer transfer window when Premier League newcomers Luton Town expressed interest in acquiring Chong.

Ultimately, Birmingham couldn’t resist the offer, and they agreed to sell the former Manchester United player to Luton in a deal reportedly valued at £4 million.

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