Adnan Januzaj was one of the players Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho chose to ship out on loan in the summer. The Belgian has struggled whilst he has been on loan; finding it hard to deliver credible performances week in week out and now his future as a United player is in serious doubt.
Januzaj was perhaps the only shining light in a nightmarish 2013/2014 season we United fans would do well to forget.
Then, he was one of the latest players to make the move from the famous academy to the first team and he was performing brilliantly.
Defenders found it hard to live with the then 18-year-old. His pace and trickery made him a live wire. He was the standout performer that season and the sky looked the limit for the Brussels-born forward.
Things didn’t work well for him with Dutch tactician, Louis van Gaal at the helm. The methodical philosophy of van Gaal didn’t suit Januzaj and he struggled as a result. Featuring only 41 times in the two seasons van Gaal was in charge.
There seemed to be hope for the 22-year-old when Mourinho was appointed as van Gaal’s successor. However, Mourinho made Armenian superstar, Henrikh Mkhitaryan his third signing as United’s boss.
The signing of Mkhitaryan showed Mourinho didn’t feel satisfied with the attacking options he had available and elected to sign a player who could combine craft and finesse with the end product.
The move to the Stadium of Light hasn’t been a disastrous one for Januzaj, but of course, it hasn’t been a prosperous one either.
In the 17 games he has played in the Premier League to date, he has zero goal and three assists to his name. Which is poor for a player who plays just behind the main striker.
Saying Januzaj hasn’t been missed at Old Trafford would be a massive understatement. The average United fan is probably oblivious to the fact that he still is a player for the Red Devils! Why should he be missed? The forward players at Manchester United are playing excellently well at the moment and looking like to could pose a nuisance to just about any defence.
This doesn’t spell good news for the young Belgian who must be scratching his head on how he could possibly force his way into the United first team knowing those at his parent club are doing much better than he is at Sunderland.
When Januzaj does return back from his loan move this upcoming summer, he will surely find himself further down the pecking order of forwards and unless he improves his game tremendously, he wouldn’t even get a sniff at a chance on the bench in the United first team!
The next few months, I believe, are going to be the determining factor of whether the Belgium-international stays or leaves.
Still, the way things have gone for the forward is disappointing; going from the darling of Old Trafford to a forgotten loanee is just embarrassing.