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Adnan Januzaj not part of pre-season tour squad amid rumours of his departure

Adnan Januzaj has been left out of Manchester United’s pre-season tour squad amid rumours of an impending departure from the Theatre of Dreams this summer. Looking back to the ill-fated season under David Moyes, Januzaj was the main story of that season, signing a new contract and really looking the part on the pitch. The two goals he scored against Sunderland, ensuring United won at the Stadium of Light gave supporters the belief that they had seen a player rise to the stage much like Cristiano Ronaldo did ten years earlier, but that soon started to fizzle out for young Januzaj.

David Moyes was sacked around Easter in 2014 after United suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Everton, Moyes’ former club. Ryan Giggs took over the helm for the remainder of the season – four matches and Louis van Gaal came in the following summer, staying at the club for two years before he saw himself departing the Old Trafford club after guiding them to the Emirates FA Cup with a victory over Crystal Palace at Wembley, albeit going into extra time. Jose Mourinho was then made the United manager and is now heading into his second season with the club. After his first season at the club, Januzaj regressed, failing to bring to light that form which saw him as a rising star.

During the second season under Van Gaal, Januzaj was loaned to Borussia Dortmund, failing to set the stage alight in the Bundesliga with that season-long loan spell being ended around Christmas time, because of the winter break, with Januzaj heading back to Old Trafford, where he played a few more first team matches, missing the Emirates FA Cup final and losing more plaudits for various reasons including trying to score goals from corners whilst playing the United U21 side, now the U23’s, which is pretty disrespectful to his opposition. It was clear to say Adnan Januzaj was on the decline. Mourinho had previously praised the player and it could have been a big season for him under the Portuguese, but a loan spell at Sunderland was set in motion.

That season saw Januzaj fail to set the relegation-threatened club with the belief that the player was destined for greatness only scoring one goal throughout the season, ending with a place on the bench. It just does not seem to have gone well for the Belgian-born winger, and now it seems about to get worse for him. Andreas Pereira had a loan spell in La Liga with Granada, who were eventually relegated, but the Belgian-born Brazilian showed promise in his ability and earned himself a chance at United this pre-season with him being included in Mourinho’s squad which headed to Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon. Januzaj was not part of the squad with speculation, albeit some weeks ago, linking him to Real Sociedad, another club David Moyes had managed.

The fact Januzaj was not included in Mourinho’s pre-season tour squad would suggest that his future at Old Trafford has already been determined with Mourinho confirming to the media before the end of the season that he had decided what he would do with the player, choosing not to confirm anything at the time. On Saturday night, The Mirror reported that Januzaj would not be given a squad number this season, which is effectively suggesting the player will no longer play for United. Januzaj was again linked to Real Sociedad who are interested in the £12 million-rated winger, whose contract expires at the end of the 2017/18 season, meaning the player has less than a year left at the club.

The 22-year-old now faces a lot of work to return to form and make something out of his talent, which would be a waste if he continued to fail. The fact he has failed under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Thomas Tuchel and Moyes again would to me suggest there is an underlying problem which is not there because of one particular club, meaning the player’s failure can be attributed to him and him only. There is only so far a player can get himself and living off the success of three seasons ago just will not wash with any manager today – you need to create that success in the present and ahead to the future, rather than living in the past. Many players with talent have not made it at the highest stage, that is all part and process of this game.

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