Wayne Rooney is wary of Manchester United loanee Tahith Chong’s threat ahead of his weekend clash with the star.
Rooney’s Derby County are travelling to St Andrew’s to square off against Chong’s Birmingham City on Friday night.
The United legend is well aware of the young Dutchman, having briefly crossed paths at United and more recently during pre-season when Chong’s early goal saw United turn out a 2-1 victory over Derby.
Speaking on the United loanee, Rooney said “obviously, he’s a very talented player, he played against us in pre-season and yeah, he’s an impact player, he has good moments in the game.”
“So, of course, we’ll have to be wary of him and make sure we’re on our toes and we’re defending well against him because if we give him time and space, then he’s a player who can really hurt you.”
Having started the season in spectacular form, Chong has been earning the praise of Birmingham City manager Lee Bowyer and the club’s supporters.
Still looking for his first goal in blue though, Chong will be looking to emulate his pre-season performance against Derby and fire Birmingham into the play-off spots.
On the other side, Rooney’s defensively resolute Derby side will be withstand Chong’s threat as extend their distance from the relegation zone.
Despite the poor situation Derby are in financially and being hampered by transfer restrictions, Rooney has got off to an impressive start to the season.
Widely expected to be rooted to the bottom of the table, Derby are currently 15th place after five matches, with a win, three draws, and one loss.
Chong will be looking to add a second loss though and will be excited by the prospect of running at Derby’s ageing backline.
The action can be seen on Sky Sports on Friday with coverage starting at 7:30 and will feature a number of United connections, including Ravel Morrison and Tom Lawrence in addition to Rooney and Chong.