Of all the players who have failed to live up to expectations at Manchester United in the post Sir Alex Ferguson era, Adnan Januzaj’s case has been the most interesting of all.
He made a strong impact straightaway after being introduced by David Moyes. His rise was meteoric. He quickly became the darling boy. He inherited the no 11 shirt from Ryan Giggs. Great things were expected of him. The kid was destined to rule the Premier League, such was the assumption.
And then by the turn of the next season, things looked dull and bleak for him. Louis van Gaal came in as the next manager, and the Dutchman wasn’t particularly impressed with Januzaj. Opportunities came few and far, and Januzaj couldn’t grab them with both hands, whatever little was there for him.
A negative vibe came out of Old Trafford regarding Januzaj that he needs to take care of his attitude. He doesn’t work hard enough. To put it simply, he quickly became an outcast, and later a forgotten man.
Jose Mourinho probably isn’t a great fan of the 21-year-old either. United sent him on loan in the summer to Sunderland, where, under Moyes, he has shows signs of improvement. He has made 14 Premier League appearances for the struggling Black Cats, and his overall performance has been good.
His performances have attracted the attention of French sides Lyon and Marseille, but Januzaj hopes to play for Manchester United again next summer.
He said, in a recent interview:
My goal is always to play at Manchester United. But you should always keep your ears open and keep options open.
“You cannot play for the future. I have a contract until 2018. There are many clubs interested. It is up to me to work, the rest will come.
The question is does he have any future at Old Trafford? According to reports, Mourinho has expressed a desire to sell the Belgian winger permanently next summer.
The Portuguese is unimpressed with Januzaj’s performance for Sunderland and has instructed the board to consider offers for him. The youngster is valued at around £15m, but United could consider offers as low as £8m.