Manchester United have splashed the cash over the last few summers in an attempt to build a team capable of once again mounting a genuine title challenge.
Yet a couple of years ago the Red Devils had a player in their ranks that was being described as the next United superstar.
Countries were fighting over the youngster, who eventually decided to represent the country of his birth Belgium. That youngster was Adnan Januzaj.
However, as always he British media over-egged the pudding when it came to hype about the Belgian teenager. The youngster’s career has stalled slightly in the past few seasons, but United boss Louis van Gaal has given the youngster a chance this season.
Januzaj has started the last two Premier League games and recently scored the winning goal in the 1-0 victory over Aston Villa. Despite those appearances the 20-year-old is being linked with a temporary move away from Old Trafford.
Former-United boss David Moyes gave the youngster his full debut at Sunderland and the 18-year-old scored a brace in a 2-1 win. That was it the media went into overdrive, as Januzaj became hot property overnight on the back of one decent performance.
The former-Anderlecht youngster is undoubtedly talented, but as ever with exciting young players he has been slightly over-hyped and that probably has not helped his development. Since that display against the Black Cats he has struggled to fulfil his potential.
He failed to find the net in the Premier League last season in 18 appearances, although 11 of those did come off the substitute’s bench. He has started this season in much better fashion though.
Dutch boss Louis van Gaal obviously sees the mercurial youngster in his plans for the future, but if United sign another attacking player then he may not see as much first team football this season.
Januzaj has been linked with various loan moves in the past. The latest teams believed to be interested in signing the youngster are West Ham and Everton.
The Toffees made a bid to sign Januzaj in the last transfer window, but United were unwilling to let their starlet leave the club. Everton boss Roberto Martinez expects to be busy in the next week, stating he is expecting to bring in three new signings.
A move to Goodison Park may not be a bad one for the youngster. Everton are looking for a creative midfielder and he is more likely to get first team football on Merseyside, although the Toffees do currently have wingers Kevin Mirallas and Gerard Deulofeu warming their substitute’s bench.
West Ham have lost their last two Premier League games and are in search of attacking additions before the transfer window closes. A move to West Ham would also see the Belgian play first team football.
Januzaj is a player with potential, but people forget that he is just 20 years-old. The old saying there is no substitute for experience applies to the youngster. To fulfil his potential he needs to be playing top-flight football on a regular basis.
He may be in the United starting line-up now, but with United reportedly looking to sign a forward player before the transfer window shuts he may well find himself back on the United bench in the near future.
His potential talent is wasted sitting on the United substitute bench, but United boss Van Gaal has a good record for developing young talents, especially in his days at Ajax.
He helped develop the talents of the likes of Patrick Kluivert and Clarence Seedorf in Holland, and then in his time at Barcelona he also played a big part in the development of future- World Cup winners Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
Van Gaal seems to be giving Januzaj his chance at Old Trafford this season, so he may well be better off staying at United and being mentored by the highly-experienced Dutch boss.
Whatever happens this season, it could be a vital one in the development of Adnan Januzaj. Wherever he plies his trade after the transfer window shuts he needs to be playing regular first team football.
At the moment he is in the United team and will no doubt be happy with that, but if United sign a forward then he may have to go out on loan to gain some crucial first team experience.
Will Adnan Januzaj leave Manchester United?
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