Sunderland manager David Moyes is reportedly planning a raid on Manchester United for both Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj, according to reports by Steve Bates in The Mirror. It is suggested that United have told Sunderland that there would be a fee of £45 million for both players; £20 million for Fellaini and £25 million for Januzaj. It is suggested that the price quoted is too expensive for Sunderland who spent around £20 million during the January transfer window under previous manager Sam Allardyce. At the end of the day, United should not be forced to sell on the cheap just because the buying team said the prices are too high. Moyes himself overpaid for Fellaini back in the summer of 2013, letting his release clause expire before moving for the Belgian on deadline day, paying £27.5 million for him, as opposed to £23.5 million price available before the 31st July 2013.
At this present time, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is happy to have Fellaini in his squad, but should that change in the future, Moyes would still be there to offer him a change of scenery. Moyes is happy to press on for Januzaj, whether it be a permanent deal or on loan, we shall see in the coming days. United might be keen to hold onto the player, perhaps to stop another situation similar to that of Paul Pogba – seeing the player leave, become a star, then possible try to buy him back. Januzaj has had his chance at the club, he looked good under David Moyes during his 10-month spell as manager, but he seems to have declined massively since then. Looking back in time, at the start of 2015 with the Belgian not being selected as much by Louis van Gaal, Paris Saint-Germain, who were interested in the player before he signed a new contract at United, made a bid to sign him again – perhaps United rue not letting him go then?
Last season, Januzaj was offered the chance of a loan spell away from the club. Everton was touted by the media as being an interested party, but Januzaj chose to head to the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, a team he would find it hard getting into. Januzaj made 12 appearances for the German side between the 12th September 2015 and the 10th December 2015, which was his last match for the German club. He then returned to Manchester United after the failed spell with the German club, of which coach Thomas Tuchel confirmed that was the case, saying:
“A part of him was always still in Manchester and we just couldn’t help him cut this umbilical cord. He didn’t wholly embrace Borussia. He always compared everything with how it had been at United.”
Januzaj made three appearances for United during the remainder of the season; one in January, one in February and one in May. He had made four appearances for the club before going out on loan, scoring one goal; against Aston Villa at Villa Park at the start of the season. It was not a good season for Januzaj, in the first team at least, and it should have been a massive warning sign for him as despite looking good under Moyes in the 2013/14 season – he was not the finished product he thought he was. Often compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, yet looking back – there is no similarity. Januzaj is no way near as good as Ronaldo was at his age. At 21, Januzaj has a good future ahead of him, but may need to find himself before he develops. At the age of 21, Ronaldo already had a Football League Cup and the FA Cup to his name, with Januzaj only winning the FA Community Shield in 2013, under Moyes. Manchester United did win the FA Cup last season, but Januzaj did not feature in any match, despite being an unused substitute in the 3-1 victory over Derby County and the 1-1 draw with West Ham United.
Januzaj needs to kickstart his career again, it is obvious that despite Mourinho being an early fan of the player, does not consider him to be a player that fits his plans for the squad. Speaking after the 5-2 victory over Galatasaray in Sweden on Saturday night, of which Januzaj was not involved, Mourinho said:
“If they were not in my plans I would not give them one single minute, I would not keep them in my squad. The squad is very competitive, the squad is very important for the season. We have 38 matches in the Premier League, we have the possibility of 15 matches in the Europa League, plus domestic cups, we are going to play 60 matches. So with 60 matches we cannot do it with 11 players.
“So to be in the squad you have to understand that the squad is more important than the individual, the club is more important than all of us, and to be in the squad you have to be ready for this, to play, not to play, play a lot, play less, play 90 minutes, play one minute, not be selected, everything is part of a squad life. And if you want to be in a club like we are, the club is much more important than us.”
Although Januzaj played 45 minutes in the 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic, also playing 24 minutes in the 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, clearly being given time in the squad, I would think that it was more to do with the fact that United still had many players on holiday after participating in the European Championships and the Copa America this summer. If the full squad was available, Januzaj and many others may not have travelled to China in the first place. I feel Mourinho means what he says, he wants to be successful and to do that, you need players to realise that it can, and will happen without them. It is a shame that it has come to this for a player with such prospects, but attitude can be something that ruins careers. We saw this with Ravel Morrison, who still is not all that relevant in the world of football, and with Januzaj’s tricks in Warren Joyce’s U21’s side last season – trying to score from corners and general showboating, it shows that those who think they are bigger and better than the club, may just find themselves learning the hard way that they were not all that anyway.