Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj is looking to exit the club, possibly on a loan deal after being left humiliated by Jose Mourinho not selecting the player for his squad this season. Januzaj had a purple patch under the management of David Moyes during the 2013/14 season, scoring four goals in 37 appearances – also signing a new contract which would keep him at the Old Trafford club until the summer of 2018. Since then, though, Januzaj has not been a player that has continued his development. During the 2014/15 season – Louis van Gaal’s debut season, Januzaj made 21 appearances and failed to score a single goal, which suggested that something was not quite right. In the 2015/16 season, Januzaj made four appearances for United during August, scoring once. It was deemed that he was surplus to requirements and headed out on loan for the remainder of the season with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.
Januzaj made 12 appearances for Dortmund, again failing to score a single goal. His season-long loan spell was terminated and Januzaj found himself back at United for the remainder of the season, playing more U21 football than for the first team. The Belgian made three first team appearances for United to end the season, meaning he has made seven appearances for the Old Trafford club in total, which was not all that great for him. He seems to have regressed from the talented player who emerged from the Academy during the 2013/14 season, which suggests that all the hype may have been for nothing – humiliating in itself without being dropped by the manager.
For weeks now, Januzaj has been linked to David Moyes’ Sunderland, a team who today have signed Paddy McNair and Donald Love with the Belgian likely to move to the club on loan, despite the player himself wanting a permanent move but with United looking at the Paul Pogba saga which would see them see the player spend a period of time on loan away from the club. Januzaj has a contract which lasts just short of another two years, so he cannot really demand to leave – the club can reject it, which in time would destroy his career even more than he has done already. It is down to him at the end of the day. It is well-known that the 21-year-old has an attitude – this was seen last season whilst playing for the U21’s and trying to score from the corner, much to the annoyance of Warren Joyce, who had a go at him many a time – which could be heard from the touchline during the matches.
The Manchester Evening News suggest that Januzaj is close to a loan move to Sunderland and that is something that the Daily Mail suggest too with the latter giving a lot more insight into the reason as to why the 21-year-old is unhappy. Jose Mourinho has picked his squad for the new season, which involved Januzaj losing the number 11 shirt, being handed the number 15 instead. He played for United in their 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic earlier in the summer, and he travelled to China with the squad, playing at the end of the 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund. He was not selected once the players still on their holidays had returned playing no part in the 5-2 victory over Galatasaray or the 0-0 draw with Everton ahead of the FA Community Shield, another match he played no part in. Januzaj has been forced to train with the U21’s but will not share a dressing room with them, as he is clearly above all of that being the star he now is or at least thinks he is.
Many blamed Louis van Gaal for Januzaj’s problems, but the same thing seemed to happen at Borussia Dortmund and not forgetting that he lost his place in the Belgium squad prior to the European Championships this summer. It is clear that the error lies in the hands of the player, rather than anyone else. Perhaps being compared to Cristiano Ronaldo turned him into a player whom he thought he was much better, but deep down he is not fit to lace the Portuguese winger’s boots. Januzaj has a big lesson to learn and much like Ravel Morrison, he could be looking back at the career he could have had in a few years time. Having an attitude is something that could close paths for you, which seems to be the case here.
Januzaj seems to be upset that he is not being given the chance to prove himself, after hiring a fitness coach in the summer to get ready for the Portuguese manager’s arrival. He may need to look into the word chance, you earn a chance and are not automatically granted one. If the player has an attitude and Mourinho has seen it so soon into his appointment, that does not make the player look all that good. In fact, it makes the player look petulant. No manager would want an ego like that in their team, not if they cannot back up what they think they can do on the pitch – which is Januzaj to a tee. Januzaj needs to take a long hard look at himself in a mirror, if not the one in the U21 dressing room, the one in the toilet he gets changed in, as he obviously sees himself as something he is not. How much his U21 teammates feel to have a player like him within their team which at the end of the day could cause more damage than good.
Manchester United seem to have much more faith in Januzaj that he may deserve. He has talent and has proven that albeit three years ago. There is something there, but the discontent he has shown needs to be worked out of him, hence the loan spell the club want him to have as it could put his career back on track. United have suffered from many players over the last three years not pulling their weight and Januzaj would be like that if granted a chance. He would end up either sitting on the bench the majority of the time, or not making the matchday squad at all. That would make him even worse. What he needs is the good old-fashioned treatment to show him that in order to get a chance, he would need to earn it. Spending time away from United on loan could be his chance to impress the manager and be granted a chance, Mourinho owes nothing to Januzaj and right now the player himself owes a lot to the club rather than the petulance and bad attitude he seems to be showing.
Januzaj may not want a loan spell at a club like Sunderland, dreaming of a move to Italy or Spain where he feels he will be granted the chance he wants. Thing is, what if his new club picks up on his arrogance and this who scenario transfers itself to a new club with him? Will he still continue to blame others for his miscomings, or will the penny drop and he realise that all this was down to him, his attitude and his petulance? Januzaj going to a team he would play regularly in would be a good thing. It may not be the boost he needs, but playing regularly will help him shake all this petulance out of himself, feel better for playing and eventually show his manager what he is capable of. Nobody is guaranteed anything in life, apart from death. If you desperately want a chance, you have to earn it and prove yourself during that chance. If you fail to do so, you stock will have fallen and you have to work much harder in order to be granted the same chance again, if ever. Adnan Januzaj had the world at his feet until his arrogance shone through. Until that changes, it will always be the same, wherever he goes.