Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has decided to hand Tahith Chong a rare senior start in the club’s pre-season opener at Derby but the call has left supporters utterly perplexed.
That’s because the Dutch youngster, who spent last season out on loan at Werder Bremen and Club Brugge, has already agreed to join Birmingham for the full season on a temporary deal.
United are looking to get him some senior experience under his belt in order to assess whether he’s good enough to make the grade at Old Trafford.
Yet despite officially signing for the Blues nine days ago, Chong has remained with United.
His parent club were keen to negotiate that he stays put with them for the next few weeks as United are missing a number of their international players.
Solskjaer wants to ensure he has enough numbers to keep things competitive as he awaits the return of his senior stars.
Chong was handed a start this afternoon as he looks to get sharp ahead of his Championship venture.
Yet some fans, who were clearly unaware of the agreement included in the loan deal, were baffled to see Chong starting after his move to the Midlands.
“I thought Chong was being loaned out why he playing today,” one fan replied to United’s team news drop on Twitter.
Another added: “Tahith Chong starting thought he was on loan at Birmingham?”
One then replied to the fan, agreeing: “Yeah strange he’s joining them after pre-season!
“We have other players and surely Birmingham would want him to gel with the team now.”
A fourth fan is adamant Chong is one of Solskjaer’s golden boys.
He wrote: “Ole has his favourites lol and Chong is weirdly one of them.”
New United signing Tom Heaton starts in goal on his return to the club.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Teden Mengi, Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams then make up the back-four.
Tuanzebe and Williams could both leave United on loan in the coming weeks.
Dylian Levitt and James Garner play at the base of midfield as they look to impress.
Then Anthony Elanga, Juan Mata and Chong all support Mason Greenwood in attack.
Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard, Alex Telles, Shola Shoretire and Facundo Pellsitri are amongst the subs at Pride Park where big changes are expected at the break.