Adnan Januzaj has flitted around Manchester United‘s first team for just over a year now. However, despite his inability to maintain a place in the Red Devils’ starting line-up, the tricky Belgian isn’t having his head turned by a potential exit.
Instead of dwelling on a potential transfer, though, Januzaj made it clear he is willing to work for new boss Louis van Gaal with an excellent performance for United’s under-21 side.
Van Gaal is yet to provide Januzaj with a starting role in the Premier League, but the player did come off the bench against QPR. He remains a raw product, someone whose natural speed, skill and agility see him carve open opportunities which aren’t always captailised on.
Januzaj offered the best and worst of his game against Harry Redknapp’s men, where he skipped beyond the defence before blazing a simple cross well wide.
Van Gaal has utilised the starlet from the bench in each of this season’s Premier League encounters, ensuring he has a role to play in the club’s rejuvenation process.
Last season, Januzaj grabbed four goals and three assists in a total of 27 Premier League appearances, per WhoScored.com.
He has played on both flanks, through the centre and in a wing-back position during the last year but currently offers United the most value in an advanced wide role. This was highlighted during last term’s trip to Sunderland, where his stunning brace set David Moyes’ struggling side up for victory.
This encounter remains the highlight of Januzaj’s United career. He hasn’t been able to find this kind of rampant quality in the senior side since, but he will be galvanised by putting the Black Cats’ younger squad to the sword ahead of the main team’s trip to Leicester on Sunday.
Van Gaal has no room for error and will be keen to deploy the wealth of attacking talent available in his squad. Fitting Di Maria, Falcao, Mata,Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie together provides a conundrum before Januzaj is even considered.
It’s difficult to suggest a loan move would aid the player’s development. United offered him the No. 11 shirt as a long-term commitment and as a symbol of their trust in his ability. Ryan Giggs previously showed how to turn natural talent into world-class quality, something that is expected of Januzaj over the next couple of seasons.
Van Gaal is a known promoter of youth and is likely to provide the player with plenty of chances to shine. Januzaj’s words certainly highlight maturity and realistic expectations from the man himself, who knows he needs to show United the same sort of commitment they granted him when offering one of the club’s most significant squad numbers.