Right now the boy who can do anything can’t do anything to force his way into Manchester United’s first-team.
With four goals in his last two appearances for United’s U21s including a hat-trick and an outrageous goal direct from a free-kick, Januzaj has been in electric form. He has done his best to show Louis van Gaal he deserves more game time.
Yet, there has been no room at the inn for Januzaj. In United’s last four games, Januzaj has twice been an unused substitute and has only been given 26 minutes on the pitch.
For a boy who was such a bright spark last season under David Moyes, it’s less game time than he would have hoped for but maybe not in the grand scheme of things.
Januzaj has been a senior player for one season and is only 19. His game time is being limited by Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Angel di Maria, three established first-team players. With United scoring so freely at the moment as well, it’s not as if Van Gaal’s decision to leave him out has hindered United.
What Januzaj needs to do is continue keeping his chin up, working hard and putting in performances at whatever level he is asked to play in. That’s all he can do, the rest is up to Van Gaal but Januzaj should be buoyed by the Dutchman’s willingness to play youngsters. When he feels the time is right for Januzaj, he’ll do precisely the same with him.
There’s no question that Januzaj deserves playing time but so do other players. This is the biggest problem with United not being in the Champions League and getting knocked out of the Capital One Cup so early on, there aren’t enough games to satisfy the needs of every member in United’s squad.
All Januzaj can do is remain patient and keeping working like he has been so far. The Belgian is going to be a big player for United over the coming few years, him being given Ryan Giggs’ No.11 is indicative of that, and there’s no doubt he’ll get his chances under Van Gaal. What he needs to do is take them when they arrive.