Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has said that Chinese
striker Dong Fangzhuo is likely to play for the English premier
league club in nine months.
United signed up Dong from Chinese club Dalian Shide about three
years ago, but loaned him to Belgian club Royal Antwerp in order to
build up his experience.
Dong was loaned also because of his inability to secure a
British work permit, but with the 21-year-old set to be eligible
for a European passport later this year, Ferguson is hoping for his
contribution to United attacking.
"Dong has improved a lot in the three years he has been with us
and on loan at Antwerp. He has speed, a great physique and desire
and he is improving all the time," said Ferguson, whose team was on
a tour of South Africa.
Dong scored a goal to lift United to a 1-0 friendly win against
Kaizer Chiefs in Cape Town on Tuesday.
"The goal Dong scored to win the game was a great example of a
young player showing composure and taking his time with a chance
when he could have taken it first time," said Ferguson.
Ferguson is hopeful that Dong could add another attacking option
to United by the end of the upcoming season.
"He will be eligible for a European passport in December and
that's good news for us. Although he may not get a permit
straightaway, we can appeal and he could be a United player in nine
"He has now played four times for China, so that may give us
grounds for appeal and he could become a good option for us," he
(Xinhua News Agency July 20, 2006)