Adnan Januzaj doesn’t represent the first time that we’ve seen a young, precocious talent at Manchester United burst onto the scene and capture the club’s imagination only to struggle to live up to the hype, but the Belgian’s seemingly inevitable move away from Old Trafford, whether on loan on a more permanent basis is still deeply disappointing.
Here’s a young man who offered an incredible bright spark and glimmer of hope throughout the mess that was David Moyes’ first, and thankfully only season in charge. His goals against Sunderland, ironically the side that he is rumoured to be joining on a season-long loan deal in that 1-2 victory including that stunning volley marked him out as an instant talent and a player of immense promise. Problem is that we’re still waiting on Januzaj to deliver on that promise three years later.
James Ducker’s article in The Telegraph seemingly confirms that whilst Januzaj may feel humiliated at not being made a part of Mourinho’s plans for this season’s squad, the blame for his career stalling cannot be placed solely on the club itself:
“At times, the 21-year-old – who is known to be stubborn – has been arriving for training at United’s Carrington base already in his kit and, on one occasion, he changed in the toilets to avoid having to do so in the under-21’s dressing room. Sources close to the player say he feels “humiliated”.
Januzaj’s attitude has been openly questioned by senior figures at United, including Van Gaal, as well as the Belgium national team, but United have been reluctant to allow him to leave permanently.”
It’s a real shame to see Januzaj’s United career stall like this, but on the other hand, Ducker’s comments above about the struggles that the club have had with his attitude appear completely well-founded. Louis van Gaal failed to get much out of him for two years, despite starting him behind Wayne Rooney in several games at the beginning of last season, and Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel was happy to cut short his loan stay at the Westfalenstadion in December of last year as the Belgian completely failed to make the most of an opportunity for first team football in Germany.
Brutal as it may be, Mourinho has no room for passengers in his side with a poor attitude, and whilst it’s heartening to see United cover their backs by only allowing Januzaj to leave on loan to save a repeat of the Pogba situation, there seems to be much less of a chance of this particular starlet proving his club wrong.