Tahith Chong has become Rob Edwards’ third new signing since our promotion to the Premier League.
The 23-year-old midfielder joins the Town for an undisclosed fee from Birmingham City, having enjoyed a successful two-year spell at St Andrews.
A Dutch youth international, Chong is perhaps best known in these parts for his instrumental performance for the Blues in their 5-0 win over the Hatters at the Kenny in August 2021.
And the applause he received from sections of the Town faithful when he was substituted in that match has not been lost on Edwards’ latest recruit.
“For me that was the first time I’d experienced that and it’s something that’s stuck with me for a long time,” Chong said in his first interview as a Luton player. “That shows the fans’ respect, and now that I’m here I’m excited to see them and look forward to gaining their trust.”
On his arrival at Kenilworth Road he added: “In the few hours that I’ve been here I already get the feeling that it really is a family club. I’m a football fan I’ve watched some games so I’ve seen how they’ve played and it shows togetherness and unity – and you can only have that if you’re a family club.
“I think that’s important because every club faces adversity – it’s not always going to be good – but if you’re a family club you stick through it together and it’s easier as a family.”
On the capture of Chong, Edwards said: “Tahith is someone that I, and the football club, have known for a very long time. I first crossed paths with him when I was at Wolves a few years ago and he was in Man United Under-23s.
“I’ve liked him from then, and he was a bit more of a winger at the time. Looking at him in a lot more detail at Birmingham this year, he’s been able to play inside as a midfield player as well.
“Not only is he good technically, but athletically he’s shown another side to his game this year in the Championship, that his out of possession work was diligent, hard-working and reliable.
“He gives us some real quality as well and with the ball, an end product. He’s at a good age and he’s going to keep improving. I think he’s coming into a good environment that’s going to help him do that, give him a platform that will help him take risks and be brave.
“He’ll make mistakes, but I think he’ll thrive in our environment and we are excited to get him in the building.”
Tahith’s story so far
Chong was born in Curaçao before moving to the Netherlands where his football career began in the youth academy at Feyenoord.
In 2016 he made the move to British shores, joining Manchester United where he would rise from the youth team to the make his senior debut in January 2019. He went onto make his Premier League debut two months later in a victory over Southampton and four days after that his Champions League bow in a famous 3-1 win for United against PSG in Paris.
The following season saw him make 16 appearances in all competitions for United, including three in the Premier League and six during their campaign in the Europa League.
2020/21 saw Tahith gain experience in two loan spells; firstly in the German Bundesliga with Werder Bremen before going onto play a role in securing Club Brugge the Belgian title later in the season.
He returned to the UK for another loan, this time at Birmingham, where he made 20 appearances in the Championship in 2021/22 – including that terribly brilliant display at Kenilworth Road!
With first team opportunities limited at Old Trafford, Chong chose to join City on a permanent basis last summer, going onto score four times and register five assists in 38 games in the Championship, and now will make a return to the Premier League with the Town.
Welcome to Kenilworth Road, Tahith!