Adnan Januzaj‘s first full season as a Manchester United player saw him catapulted straight into the U21s after standing out with the U18s.
His top class performances earned him rave reviews with Warren Joyce’s side and he was rewarded with an appearance on the bench for Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game in charge before he was named the Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year.
David Moyes gave him a spot on United’s pre-season tour and he has been one of the squads shining stars so far in what has been a phenomenal 12 months for the youngster, who has been catching the eye of other clubs.
His agent confirmed back in May that Barcelona and Juventus were interested in Januzaj but the 18-year-old has said that he wants to sign a contract to stay at Old Trafford.
“I don’t decide what happens with my contract,” said Januzaj. “I’ve got people behind me who do this for me.
“Manchester United are a big club, I love it here and I feel good, so I hope to stay.
“My dad does everything for me [off the pitch]. He just told me to work hard on the pitch, which is what I try to do.”
It’s great to hear Januzaj’s desire to stay at the club and he has the attitude to match the talent, something which youngsters like Pogba and Morrison lacked.
Moyes will give the Belgian his opportunities with the first team and it is something that Januzaj is keen to make happen.
He continued: “On this tour I’ve tried to do my best and worked hard on the pitch.
“But it’s hard for us as well, with all the travelling and moving between different countries and time-zones.
“I’ve tried to impress the manager and make sure I give myself the chance to stay with the first-team.”
Towards the end of last season, Januzaj was deployed up front for the U21s in the absence of any natural strikers in the team but he didn’t let it affect his performances.
He played there in the U21s final against Tottenham and despite his slender frame, did well with the physicality of being a lone striker that showed a real versatility to his game.
In the last tour game, Januzaj impressed in his favoured position just off Robin van Persie and it is a spot he hopes to get the chance to play in this year.
“It’s great because he’s obviously a big player [RVP],” said Januzaj.
“When you play with big players like him you feel confident, which is good.
“There will maybe be a chance for me to play there [off the main striker] this season, so we will see in the future what will happen.
“I think it’s a big season for me. Like I said, I’ve tried to impress the manager and try to play regularly.
“I worked hard last season. I didn’t play in my favourite position, more as a striker, but I think I did well.”
United need to move fast to tie Januzaj down to a longer contract. The player wants to sign and the club will want to keep him after the year he has had.
And if he can continue to progress at the same speed he currently is, then he has the talent to become a real world class player.