Manchester United claimed a vital 2-1 victory at Sunderland yesterday to take the heat off under-pressure boss David Moyes.
The hero of the victory was 18-year-old midfielder Adnan Januzaj, who scored two superb goals.
Manchester United have rather lacked inspiration so far this season. Star striker Robin van Persie has struggled for fitness and form this season. England striker Wayne Rooney has looked the most likely to provide the much-needed inspiration.
Despite recent good performances from Rooney, the team have definitely lacked something different.
That something different was provided by teenager Januzaj in yesterday’s victory. The Belgium-born youngster was always willing to try something different and take on his man.
The youngsters’ performance brought a great deal of relief to his under-pressure manager. There was a sense of relief, more than delight from the United boss at the final whistle. He has come in for some major criticism early in his United career and this win was vital one for the Scot.
The Scot took something of a gamble by selecting young Januzaj for yesterday’s clash. The game was only the teenagers’ third Premier League appearance and his first start in the top-flight. However, Moyes showed great faith in the teenager.
The United boss chose Januzaj ahead of the likes of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young. The decision paid off and the youngster proved to be the match winner.
Moyes has a decent record to blooding talented youngsters, after giving the likes of Wayne Rooney and Ross Barkley their debuts during his time at Everton, However, the Scot did receive criticism on Merseyside for not giving Barkley more game time.
Januzaj has shown in pre-season and in his early performances that he has major potential. Moyes describes the youngster as ‘special’. He will only improve as he gains more experience at the top level of the game. The youngster has good natural ability and with experience could be a very good player in the future.
Ironically there are doubts over the future of Adnan Januzaj at Manchester United. The youngsters’ contract expires at the end of the season. That means that foreign teams can offer him a contract in January and the Red Devils will only receive a small compensation fee.
The United boss believes that Januzaj will stay at Old Trafford and that every young boy wants to play for Manchester United. However, if he continues to produce decent performances for United then he may have some of the other European giants looking at signing him, especially for a knockdown price.
The situation is not a unique one at Manchester United. The same thing happened with highly-rated young French midfielder Paul Pogba, who moved on to Juventus and since produced some impressive performances for the Italian champions.
A similar situation happened with highly-rated young English midfielder Ravel Morrison. However, it was suggested that off-field issues effected the youngsters’ development and that he was not fulfilling his potential at Old Trafford.
Moyes and the United fans will be looking to avoid a similar sort of scenario with Januzaj. From what he has shown so far, the youngster could be a very good player in the future.
Manchester United have found it difficult to get going this season. They have not looked like the Manchester United of old. Moyes team selection and tactics have been questioned, but it is time for the United senior players to step-up.
A team like Manchester United should not have to rely on a youngster like Januzaj to bail them out. The senior players really need to start improving their performances.
When the Premier League returns after the international break the Red Devils really need to put together a run of victories. United needed the victory at Sunderland too raise morale and move them up the fledgling Premier League table.
David Moyes will be hoping that his team start to produce better performances and he does not have to rely on an 18-year-old to provide the inspiration needed every week. No doubt United will start to perform better in the coming months of the season.
The senior players within the United squad are likely to be key to that improvement, but that does not mean that Januzaj cannot play a big role for the champions this season. One performance does not make a star, but the youngster looks to have the potential to go on to big things.
The interesting thing will be if the youngster signs a new contract at Old Trafford. If he does then Manchester United may just have a potential world beater on their hands.
Will Adnan Januzaj sign a new deal with Manchester United?