Adnan Januzaj is yet to start a game for Manchester United’s first team this season. One of very few positives taken from the last campaign was Januzaj’s acceleration into the limelight. With Louis Van Gaal still implementing his philosophy and United’s lack of games thanks to the recording breaking previous season (for all the wrong reasons), Januzaj looks like the player who could suffer the most at the club.
Januzaj also suffers from the strength in depth United have in his position. Fortunately for Januzaj, he can play effectively in a number of areas. Unfortunately each of these areas are arguably the strongest in the team in terms of personnel. Adnan prefers the number 10 role. He shares this preference with ‘He’ll play every game’ captain, Wayne Rooney and £37 million pound signing Juan Mata so it’s safe to say Adnan doesn’t stand much of a chance. A positive note for Januzaj is fellow number 10 Shinji Kagawa left the club in the summer so there’s just the two to get past now!
Louis Van Gaal recently stated that he see’s Januzaj as one of his strikers. With the depth United have in this position too, the chance of Januzaj getting past Radamel Falcao, Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney again and the other youth sensation James Wilson, it is looking all the more worrying for the Belgian youngster.
As Van Gaal settles himself and other newcomers into the team the lack of need for wingers has been the obvious omission from previous campaigns, meaning the opportunity for Januzaj to apply his trade out wide is once again cut short.
A limited number of substitute appearances in a variety of positions including central midfield and right wingback has meant Adnan has had to turn to the U21’s for more game time. In the two games Januzaj has played for the U21’s, he has shown his quality and the desire he holds to progress and fight for his place in the first team. A hat-trick in one game and a stunning free kick in the other, it was clear to see he stood head and shoulders above everyone else on the field.
Should we be worried we could lose the young Belgian?
Possibly! It’s been well documented by a certain ex number 5 about how a young player, presumably Januzaj, was crying after being left out of the match day squad. The Nandos loving forward could be tempted by a move away if opportunities do not come thick and fast after already appearing on the world’s biggest stage at this year’s World Cup. So with his international career in mind, the temptation for regular football could be too sweet to ignore just like fellow youth team graduate Paul Pogba, who since leaving Old Trafford for Juventus has risen into one of the world’s most exciting midfielders.
It is easy to see just how good Januzaj is and can become with the right nurturing and guidance. With Van Gaal already showing his confidence in the younger players such as Tyler Blackett, Paddy McNair, Tom Thorpe and James Wilson, Adnan should take some comfort from this and hopefully his time will come sooner rather than later.
With his track record of developing players, Louis Van Gaal is the right man to push Januzaj through this frustrating time and make him see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Whatever happens, it’s no doubt Adnan Januzaj will reach the very top. Whether that is in the red of United, only time will tell.