Masked looters broke into the home of a Manchester United star and held him at knife point as they stole thousands of pounds worth of property.
Three men in balaclavas broke in at 3am as Tahith Chong, 22, was sleeping — before holding blades to his throat.
The thieves demanded that he hand over items including jewelry, watches and women’s designer bags.
The brazen intruders even taunted wingman Chong about his poor security while they conducted the raid.
Rising star Chong has become the latest high-profile soccer player to fall victim to gangs targeting wealthy players in the Northwest.
It is the fifth burglary at the home of a United or City star in an area south of Manchester since Christmas.
Last night, a source said of Chong: “It was a horrible experience for him.
“He was woken up by the sight of three armed men wearing balaclavas and holding knives to his throat.
“They also shone torches in his eyes and ordered him to stand up and give them items, including watches.
“It seemed like they knew what they were doing and what they were after,” he said.
“They knew who the player was and called him by name.
“And they even told him that he really needed to upgrade his security or that it might happen again.
“It was chilling. He was left extremely shaken.
“The gang was professional and seemed to have done it before, maybe to other players.”
The terrifying raid occurred at Chong’s home in Sale, Greater Manchester, on Sunday, January 16.
Police were later called and reportedly warned the player that the intruders may have been monitoring his social networks for signs of wealth.
Dutch Under-21 international Chong has been on loan this season with Birmingham City.
He suffered a groin injury in October and was recovering at his local club at the time of the raid.
Organized gangs are believed to be behind the home burglaries of top players.
Most of the victims were targeted while they were away with their teams.
We reported last week on how Manchester United ace Paul Pogba’s home was feared to have been hit by the same burglars who targeted his teammate Victor Lindelof.
Pogba’s property was raided while he was playing against Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford in the Champions League on March 15.
The armed gang that ransacked the French international’s home in Hale Barns, Greater Manchester, could also be linked to looters who attacked Manchester City player Joao Cancelo outside his family home in December.
Lindelof, a 27-year-old Swede, lives around the corner from Pogba.
The defender’s home was targeted while he was playing for the Red Devils in Brentford on January 19.
The break-in came four days after the home of another United teammate, Jesse Lingard, was raided two miles from Bowdon.
The 29-year-old was robbed of £100,000 worth of clothes and jewelry while playing for United at Aston Villa.
But Portuguese ace Cancelo, 27, was at home when looters hit his pad in nearby Hale in December.
He posted photos of his cut and bruised face after bravely battling the gang.
The proximity of the raids has led to fears that footballers in the North West — particularly south of Manchester, near the M56 — could be targeted.
The freeway provides a quick escape route and there are fears of attracting gangs from across the region.
Players and clubs — aware of the risks — are also taking steps to combat the ruthless gangs.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)