There has been a major furore about the club and international future of Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj in the last few weeks, after just one first team start.
In fact a few weeks ago most normal football fans may not have even heard of him, unless you were a Manchester United fan of course.
Just under two weeks ago the youngster was given his first start in the Premier League for United against Sunderland.
He made an immediate impact scoring twice, as the reigning champions won 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.
After the game a lot of people sang the youngsters praises, including me in my editorial the next day.
It was only natural when such a young player had such a dramatic impact for a club like Manchester United.
Unfortunately, the talk of Januzaj being a superstar after just one Premier League star has been far too much. The 18-year-old did have a good game at Sunderland, but it was just one start. The media have to be careful not to build up the youngster too much.
Since his appearance against Sunderland Januzaj is suddenly regarded as one of the best-up-and-coming talents in European football. The likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all been linked with moves for the youngster in recent weeks.
The fact that Januzaj’s contract with United expires next summer is also suddenly a hot topic. His advisors and family seem to be taking advantage of the youngsters suddenly rise in profile to get the youngster the biggest contract they can.
I suppose there is nothing wrong with Januzaj’s family wanting the best for the youngster, but it seems that they will be using his fleeting first team performances so far to earn him a much bigger pay packet at Old Trafford or take the youngster elsewhere.
Admittedly Adnan Januzaj does have big potential and United spotted that talent when he was just 16 and with Anderlecht. There has apparently been a big buzz amongst United supporters about the exciting young midfielder for awhile now.
The youngster may go on to become a truly world-class player, but that will only happen if he is handled in the right manner. The Belgium youngster cannot let all the hype surrounding his meteoric rise effect his mental state or he could end up never fulfilling his potential.
There is a perfect example of a youngster being built up and struggling to make the grade at Old Trafford. That youngster is Italian striker Federico Macheda, who burst onto the scene as a teenager at Old Trafford.
Now 22, the youngster has struggled to make a first team breakthrough for United. A series of loan spells and injuries have halted the Italian prospects of making a big impact at Old Trafford. The youngster has made just 19 appearances for the Red Devils, since breaking into the first team squad, many of those appearances coming as a substitute.
Macheda’s story is a cautionary tale for Januzaj of how things can go wrong for a young player if things do not go their way. Numerous youngsters have been labelled as potential superstars in the Premier League era and only a few actually make it.
There has been so much fuss recently about Januzaj’s international future. The youngster is currently wanted by Belgium his country of birth, Albania, Serbia, Croatia and England. Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere was criticised for comments he made about Januzaj’s prospects of playing for England.
While Belgium boss Marc Wilmots has been criticised by Januzaj’s father, for making what he describes as ‘shameless’ comments about his son. To be honest all this fuss about a youngster, who has only started one game for Manchester United in the Premier League is ridiculous.
Adnan Januzaj does seem to have the potential to go on to become a very good player in the future. However, the constant speculation over his future is unlikely to help his development.
The teenager needs to be left alone by the media (ironic I know) to develop his talents. Januzaj may go on to become a world superstar, but at the moment he is a teenager who has made one very eye-catching appearance for United in the Premier League, nothing more and the massive hype surrounding him needs to stop, or it could ruin his chances of actually living up to his potential.
Has United youngster Adnan Januzaj been over-hyped by the media?