As the season goes by, we keep an eye on our United youngsters Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira, currently on loan. The youngsters turn 22 and 21 respectively next year, and they are in serious need to impress as it’s time for them to make the break into the first team. Back in August the situation was clear; there wasn’t place for them and two options were left on the table, selling or loaning them. Anyone who has watched the lads play for the Reserves, seeing them leave from the club in a permanent deal was a bit harsh as they were too good to play in the Premier League 2. On the other hand, the club and the manager wouldn’t permit themselves another Pogba scenario, since taking him back costed a fortune.
There were few other options for Adnan but with David Moyes being appointed as Sunderland manager, one choice stood out. He would be with the manager that knew him well and would help Januzaj get his form back. A harder decision was on the paper for the Brazilian. Middlesbrough were interested on him, but in the end a deal away from England seemed to be the better choice for the young Brazilian and Granada offered him the chance in their first team, making this choice ideal for a player that was demanding more minutes.
It hasn’t gone well for the youngsters and their teams, as both squads, sit in the relegation zone, making it really hard to impress for Januzaj and Pereira. However in individual terms, both players have had improvements, something that surely is in United’s benefit. The Brazilian, despite the fact that plays in La Liga, widely considered a non physical league compared to the Premier League has developed defensively as Granada has had tough games like the ones against Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona, that finished in a horrible way for the little side.
He is definitely nailing that left hand side giving positive signs to Jose Mourinho that he may count on him for the future. Anyway, what United fans can mostly enjoy about the teenager is the fact that playing in a defensive mode was pretty comfortable for Pereira (considering that he is more of an attacking midfielder) and he definitely helped his side in setting some dangerous actions in the opponents’ area. The midfielder is yet to find the goal but has registered an assist and has an overall rating of 6.65 according to WhoScored and his future seems promising as he is talented and should take advantage of this.
The lad, last season has played as a false number nine for our Reserves as well and was effective for the side. We can’t blame Pereira much for the lack of minutes last season. He surely wasn’t awarded with many minutes considering that he was playing really well for the U21’s side, winning the title with them as well. This season, he has made some incredible performances and as reported by The Sun, we may see an early return of the Brazilian in January as he may even get some minutes with the team facing some issues. Leaving behind last season where even Januzaj, who came back from the unsuccessful loan spell at Borussia Dortmund, got more minutes than Pereira, the Brazilian is enjoying life at Granada and is surely ready for some Premier League action.
His U21s teammate, Adnan Januzaj isn’t having a pleasant time at Sunderland on the other side. It’s a bit hard to define how things have gone for the Belgian so far as he is always up for the surprise. It could be easily said that from all of the players going out on loan, Januzaj was the one that didn’t take the decision really well. Maybe that unsuccessful loan spell at Borussia Dortmund wasn’t pleasant as the youngster had to go through a tough time and things didn’t go any better when he got back in January.
Yet, the message he got from Moyes was clear as day, he had to stop blaming others for his career downfall and start doing something to revive his chances on becoming a great footballer. As expected, David Moyes has given him the chance to play with the Sunderland’s first team, making some good performances, failing to impress though. Physically, he is weak and that’s what makes his Premier League career difficult and it goes from bad to worse when you take into consideration his discipline. Some things never change and that’s absolutely true when it comes to Januzaj.
To prove this, all you need to remember is Januzaj’s foul against Southampton last season. The game was comfortably going in a draw and his foul won Saints a free kick and they didn’t miss the chance to score. It’s not just about this game or any particular game that would define this. He can’t do a defensive job when asked to do so and there’s no need to go back in time for that, as Januzaj struggled to defend when Sunderland played Arsenal.
With Sunderland just scoring the equalizer Januzaj was trusted to change the game for Sunderland or at least help them keep the good result. Definitely not the best choice made as he failed to help his team, struggling to go back. There’s place for frustration when you remember how all were praising him back in 2013 for the fantastic performance against Sunderland, scoring twice that gave United three points. Just a few years later, he remains clueless about his future, still making the same mistakes all over again.
However his words sound promising: “I understand that I was no priority for Mourinho. I don’t have to talk, I have to perform”. Going back to what he has done this season, Januzaj has managed to find the net one time but in the EFL Cup, yet hasn’t managed to assist and was even sent off once. He even has suffered an injury that held him outside for around six weeks. Now back in the first team, more good news are expected on him. There are no talks or reports stating that Mourinho is thinking on calling him earlier but all he needs to do is to impress even if he has to spend the whole season on loan.
Hard work is required though and in my opinion he should follow Jesse Lingard’s example, never stop fighting and work for what you mostly want. There’s something both Januzaj and Pereira should be aware of, Mourinho never gives second chances, unless he knows that there’s something special on the player. In my opinion they are very lucky, as their fellow teammates from the Reserves were sold, including former United captain James Weir. That’s why they should leave the talking behind, especially Januzaj, and show that they are the type of players that wouldn’t just make a huge impact in the game but even decide it.
Written by Fabiola Cejku