The Belgian made his first start in six months against Villa and van Gaal feels the 20-year-old needs to perform at a higher standard on a more regular basis if he wants to keep his place in the team.
Speaking ahead of United’s Champions League qualifier against Club Brugge, the manager opened up about Januzaj’s development.
“Last year he had 8 starts and 14 sub appearances. To say he hasn’t had chances isn’t a fair assessment,” van Gaal said.
“Adnan has to compete with 24 players, he is 20-years-old. Characteristics of young player is he isn’t consistent. He has to show it.”
With European competition returning to Old Trafford this season, United will have much more football to get through over the course of the season.
The depth in the squad will definitely be challenged and players like Januzaj will need to grab any chances they get with both hands. After impressing against Villa, the winger will now want to knuckle down and cement his place in the starting lineup.