When David Moyes arrived at Old Trafford, he promised to maintain the traditions of Manchester United and made a pledge to embrace the club’s storied youth system like his great Scottish predecessors. He stayed true to his promise and pre-season saw the Moyes Boys emerge with Jesse Lingard, Wilfried Zaha and particularly Adnan Januzaj impress.
Januzaj was arguably the star of pre-season. He made a fantastic impression with his dribbling, skills and decision making ability that looked so established for someone who is only 18 years old and yesterday, Moyes gave him his first team debut.
It was the perfect game to introduce Adnan to a competitive environment against newly promoted Palace and the fact that he was brought on with the game still in the balance at 1-0 was a real show of trust by Moyes that Januzaj wouldn’t let him down. He didn’t.
He gave make-shift right back Mariappa an absolutely torrid time, often leaving his more experienced opponent looking like the 18-year-old debutant. He spun the Jamaican international inside and out and Januzaj wasn’t afraid to use his weaker right foot once he’d dazzled his full-back with a myriad of neat tricks and turns.
The Reserve Team Player of the Year still has some filling out to do but considering his wiry frame, he’s surprisingly robust and strong. His decision making is top drawer too and despite his tender years, he almost always makes the right choice, something Nani has never truly mastered despite being nearly ten years his senior.
It was certainly an impressive substitute appearance from Januzaj who seems to effortlessly glide round the pitch in a manner similar to Shinji Kagawa.
On the 50th anniversary of George Best’s senior debut for United, it was fitting that Moyes handed one of our finest youth prospects his first game.
The former Anderlecht man, who has been linked to both Juventus and Barcelona over the summer looks set to sign a new deal with United and the sooner that happens the better.
Januzaj will likely be back in action on Tuesday as United’s Under-19s take part in the inaugural Champions League competition and The Peoples Person will bring you that coverage, so keep your eyes peeled.