Adnan Januzaj is arguably one of the most frustrating players in the current Manchester United squad. At 21 years old Januzaj has had a few opportunities to prove himself in the first team but never really grasped the chance meaning starts have been few and far between for the young attacker. Half of the problem is him not really knowing where his best position is, whether that be from the left, playing behind the striker in the number 10 role or from the right, where he featured in the pre-season game versus Wigan on Saturday. Louis van Gaal favoured Januzaj in the number 10 role during his five appearances in the 2015/16 season without a great deal of success.
His build and speed would probably suit the number 10 role rather than a winger not being the quickest but having a good eye for a pass and comfortable in front of goal. His potential is clear to see and has the talent to make it happen, however, the biggest question mark over his head is his attitude and application to bettering himself. After a stuttering 2014/15 season Adnan had the option from Louis van Gaal, to go out on loan which would ultimately lead to more experience and a better understanding of the game, but apparently Januzaj didn’t want to go out on loan to a small club in the championship or somewhere similar and instead chose to move to Borussia Dortmund where he only made seven appearances before being recalled in January.
Now with new boss Jose Mourinho at the helm, Januzaj has been keen to prove himself and his fitness by posting a few workout videos on Instagram. Not only that but Mourinho seems keen to give him a chance to prove himself, giving him 45 minutes in the 2-0 win over Wigan in the first pre-season friendly. A decision will soon be made though with the news that according to Metro and 90min.com, Middlesbrough are interested in continuing their fantastic start to the transfer window by adding Januzaj to their ranks. Having already signed Manchester United outcast Victor Valdes, Ajax winger Viktor Fisher, Valencia’s Antonio Barragan and closing in on Alvaro Negredo and Neven Subotic too, Januzaj would provide a much-needed boost to their attacking force.
This news is not from the most reliable sources ever but it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility and would certainly be something for Adnan Januzaj to consider if his position at Manchester United is unclear when the season begins. I’m sure Januzaj would prefer to stay and prove himself at United but the guarantee of first team football might be too much to resist. Also, the relationship between Aitor Karanka and Jose Mourinho could help the deal move forward, on loan or permanently, as the two were colleagues at Real Madrid. Also after Mourinho stated that each player that gets sold now will need to be replaced, it becomes a debate as to whether Mourinho thinks there are better players available who will play a backup role.
As a fan of Manchester United and Adnan Januzaj, I would love to see him given a chance under Mourinho to really prove his worth and hopefully, show consistently what all United fans have seen in glimpses before. His position is likely to be a backup to new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan and captain Wayne Rooney who has more than likely secured his role behind the striker after Mourinho ruled him out as a central midfielder. Having looked at Mourinho’s ethic on the FA Cup and EFL Cup, Januzaj might well feature in them heavily as well as the UEFA Europa League. Regardless of all the news, Januzaj seems keen to prove himself to the new boss and a permanent move away from the club seems unlikely.