After a long wait to gain his international clearance, Saidy Janko made his first appearance for Manchester United today in the Under-19s Youth League match against Real Sociedad.
The 17-year-old received a lot of attention from Nicky Butt in the past few weeks where he admitted he was excited to see Janko in action. Youngsters don’t usually get singled out ahead of their debut but Janko joined on deadline day and our academy staff were excited to see him in action.
Wearing the #10 that Adnan Januzaj used to wear, Janko played in his traditional right-back spot. For Switzerland’s Under-19s, he has been used as a right midfielder and his versatility is a fantastic asset for any youngster to have.
In both his style of play and physical appearance, Janko looked very similar to Antonio Valencia. He is a powerful, strong runner who likes to run at pace with the ball just like the Ecuadorian winger does and he preferred to smash a cross in than place it. He is more than confident with the ball at his feet.
Like Rafael, he has a natural attacking game from the right-back spot. Whenever he could join in the attack, he bombed forward and his positioning was well disciplined. Although, at times he was overly physical and committed some silly fouls with his strength overpowering the opposition. Right at the death, he got himself a yellow card out of frustration.
He played the full 90 minutes and for a debut, Janko played well. It is good to see that he wasn’t overly nervous in his new playing environment and over the course of the season, he will get more chances to prove he was worth the money United paid FC Zurich.