Tahith Chong has missed out on Club Brugge’s Europa League squad for the rest of the season.
Chong impressed in his first game for his new side, netting on his debut and registering an assist in a 6-1 win over Olsa Brakel in the Belgian Cup on Wednesday evening.
It led to praise from Club Brugge boss Philippe Clement, who hinted the Dutch winger could stay beyond his initial loan until the end of the season.
Yet, in a hint that the 21-year-old has some way to go before winning a place in Clement’s first-choice starting XI, Chong has missed out on Club Brugge’s Europa League squad.
UEFA rules dictate that clubs can only add three players to their European squads after the January transfer window, which posed a problem for Brugge due to the fact they signed four players in the winter market.
With Dutch striker Bas Dost and centre-back Stefano Denswill both joining with a wealth of first-team experience – Dost has scored five in six games for Brugge already and Denswill played almost 150 games for the club in a previous stint at Jan Breydel Stadium – it meant the final spot was a choice between Chong and Nabil Dirar.
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Clement has opted to pick Dirar due to his versatility.
The 34-year-old Morocco international can play both as a winger and full-back and serves as a back-up to first-choice right-back Clinton Mata.
It means Chong will be left without European football for the rest of this season and will instead be relying on the league and domestic cup for first-team minutes.
Brugge are set to face Dynamo Kyiv in the first knockout round of the competition after exiting the Champions League group stage in third place behind Borussia Dortmund and Lazio.