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This player must write his Astana wrongs if selected against AZ – opinion

Manchester United head into their final Europa League group game against AZ Alkmaar safe in the knowledge that both sides have already qualified for the knockout stages of Europe’s secondary club competition.

Therefore, it is highly likely that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will play an incredibly youthful squad, just as he did for the trip to Kazakhstan to face Astana. One of the players who produced a horror show of a performance in that 2-1 defeat was 20-year-old Tahith Chong. If selected again for the clash against the side from his native Netherlands, the Red Devils midfielder must take the opportunity to right his wrongs.

Before he was removed shortly after the hour mark, Manchester United’s Dutch midfielder failed to make a single defensive contribution against the Kazakh Premier League Champions. Neither did he seriously trouble the opposition in attack, having two shots, both of which were off target, including skewing the ball wide from close range with the goal gaping.

The 20-year-old was also one of only two Manchester United players who failed to have a pass accuracy of less than 90 per cent. Overall it was a thoroughly underwhelming performance from a player who could have a bright future ahead of him, and he has even been linked with a move to Juventus. (Calciomercato via the Daily Mail). 

So far in two Europa League starts, the midfielder has been unable to contribute a single goal or assist, and providing either of those against second-placed Eredivisie side would be taking a big step towards righting his wrongs from the previous European encounter. Even just stepping up to become a more commanding presence in the middle of the park may start to turn Manchester United fans onto his side.

Chong’s manager assured the Dutchman after the miss that it was all part of “growing up”, the other part is learning from your mistakes and developing, and that is exactly what his manager will be looking for if Chong is selected on Thursday night.

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