There’s one thing other than winning that Jose Mourinho knows how to do in his sleep, and that is loaning out young players. Prolific at Chelsea, reports have been muted since his arrival at Old Trafford with regards to sending the next generation away to gain experience at other clubs. It seems as though he may have had a change in mindset in this regard, but that does not mean certain names won’t be temporarily relocated in the 2016/17 season. Most recent name to be thrust into contention? Adnan Januzaj.
Januzaj could be forgiven for being somewhat anxious about the prospect of another spell away from the club after his hellish experience in Germany at the beginning of last season. Under pressure following a rather hard fall from grace, all the loan spell to Borussia Dortmund did was pile it on to the young Belgian who had been such a revelation in his debut season. But the Daily Mail’s speculation is perhaps one that all associated parties can be much more optimistic about. A potential link up with the manager that offered him his senior bow – David Moyes – could be exactly what he needs to restart his currently faltering career.
Moyes is the new man in charge of Sunderland following Sam Allardyce’s departure to the England job and is apparently keen to bolster his ranks with the winger he shot to fame back in 2014. It’s a move that could work well for both, Moyes has been the man to get the best out of Januzaj thus far (though Jose Mourinho has yet to try in a competitive manner) and that is precisely what he needs to happen as soon as possible. It’s fast approaching the point of no return for the Belgian; languid performances, a reported poor attitude and talks of secret competitions with teammates in the under 21s have all started to irk fans as his performances have yet to justify any such arrogance. This loan move could prove his last for all the wrong reasons.
However, it could also revive a career that, at one point at least, looked to be destined for great things. The potential is there, the ability too in abundance, but fail to impress during another loan spell and Januzaj (who lost his grip on the famous number 11 shirt to Anthony Martial) could be kissing goodbye to his affiliation with Manchester United. Fans up in the North-east are a completely different animal to anywhere else, and the possibility of being in a relegation scrap mean the expectancy level is potentially higher than at Old Trafford. Sunderland will have less time for passengers than his current employers and a continuation of this new and lackadaisical play style he has adopted will not be tolerated under any circumstances. A continuation also won’t be tolerated by his new manager.
Only Januzaj can stop himself from joining the ranks alongside the likes of Nani in Manchester United history, and propel himself into the same echelons as Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs but time and patience are fast running out in Manchester. Someone with his undoubted ability deserves the opportunity to prove all doubters wrong, and someone of his tender age still has the time to tweak the negative aspects of his game, but the player has to want it.