Adnan Januzaj to leave Manchester United this summer?


Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj could be set to leave the Old Trafford club this summer according to reports. The Mirror has suggested the Spanish side Real Sociedad could be interested in the Belgian-born winger for a fee which was reported as £9.7 million, which in my opinion would be a good deal for United based on the fact the player has not really continued his development over the last few years. Januzaj emerged under David Moyes during the 2013/14 season after being named on the bench for Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match in charge of the club, a 5-5 draw against West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. During his debut season, Januzaj was the excitement as United had fallen short under the former Everton manager.

In his debut season, Januzaj made 35 appearances for United, scoring four goals, his first two against Sunderland with United coming from behind to take all three points away from the Stadium of Light. At the time, the winger was compared to Cristiano Ronaldo based on his talent, which at the time looked promising. Moyes had stuck by the player throughout the season, with interim manager Ryan Giggs ending the season, giving the young Belgian the chance to develop even more. The arrival of Louis van Gaal in the following summer may have been a contributing factor in the player’s demise, but he was given 21 appearances under the Dutchman, failing to score a single goal that season.

Under Van Gaal for a second season, Januzaj seemed to have lost his purpose, at least on the pitch wearing a Manchester United shirt. At the start of the 2015/16 season, Januzaj made four appearances for United, scoring once away at Aston Villa, the only goal of the match with United taking all three points back to Old Trafford. The winger was loaned with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund opting to sign the player for the remainder of the season but he only made 12 appearances between the 12th September and the 10th December 2015 with the player being sent back to Manchester with Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel speaking to Sport Bild about the player, saying:

“I never had the feeling Adnan was here with his whole heart, but rather that a part of him stayed in Manchester and compared everything with Manchester United. We were not able to help him let go of it. Sadly, he wasn’t in it with the motivation and attitude you need to further yourself at this age.”

During his loan spell at Dortmund, Januzaj must have seen the problems with his attitude and mindset which were hampering his development, something that does not seem to have gotten any better in the years since the experience. Januzaj ended the season at United, mainly playing U21 football but he did feature three more times for United, against failing to show the form required to keep his place. Januzaj was a free-scoring player in the U21 league, not putting the required standard in to remain a part of the first team. Januzaj missed out on an FA Cup final place with United lifting the cup in May 2016. Louis van Gaal was then sacked and Januzaj would have the chance to earn his place again under a new manager, the third one after Sir Alex Ferguson.

Jose Mourinho came in as United manager in the summer of 2016, giving Januzaj a chance during pre-season, but a loan spell was on the cards for the player, this time in the Premier League with strugglers Sunderland, reunited once against with David Moyes. What could possibly go wrong? Januzaj had the chance to show his abilities in a struggling side, a player which if he found his spark could have thrived in the team, becoming their main creator and maybe even scorer of goals. Januzaj made 28 appearances for the doomed club, scoring one goal and also being sent off once, which was the main highlight of his season if you could call it that. Adnan Januzaj was in danger of losing his chance to play for Manchester United again. Sunderland were relegated and David Moyes resigned from the club.

This summer will see Januzaj and probably a few others players search for new clubs with Mourinho confirming earlier this year that he had decided what to do with the young player, but did not confirm anything. That seems to be with him showing the player the door as, to be honest, there is not much point keeping a player who is just not taking his chances or developing with the promise he had four years ago. That sort of thing should not be rewarded. Real Sociedad seem keen on signing the player, with the media suggesting they are not the only ones. If United were able to sell the player for anything over £9 million, the club will be doing something very well.

The Mirror stated that there could be a clause entered in any transfer for the player with the club able to re-sign the player for a set fee, something similar to that is thought to be present in the contract for Memphis Depay, who left the club for Lyon in January. TalkSPORT did report that the player and his representatives were not interested in such a thing though, seemingly with the player may be blaming United for his downfall. You can have all the memories of ability but if you are not showing that ability, which seems to have been the case for the last three seasons, all coming after his season under Moyes, you would think that the spark in Januzaj’s talent is well and truly out, perhaps with a small chance of it being reignited.

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