Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has criticised youngster Adnan Januzaj by saying the Belgian lacks direction and loses his way in a game.
Januzaj burst onto the world football scene as an 18-year-old by scoring a memorable brace against Sunderland back in October 2013, which acted as a prelude to more scintillating performances under David Moyes.
Despite faltering under Louis van Gaal last season, Januzaj has shown signs of real menace against Aston Villa and Club Brugge, and is keen to establish himself as a regular at Old Trafford.
Keown, however, clearly doesn’t hold the youngster in high regard.
“Of course it’s still early days for Memphis but Januazaj has had time to make an impact and I feel sometimes he lacks direction and loses his way in a game,” said Keown.
“When he arrived we all thought he was the next Ryan Giggs but I don’t think he’s going to be that player. Yes he’s got a lot of talent but I don’t know if he’ll show consistency in his play week in week out.
“In a way that’s the challenge for both of these young players – to produce that quality over a lengthy period of time.
But what Memphis has in his favour is that he was bought by this manager and will clearly be favoured. There’s no question that Van Gaal will be firmly in his camp.”
In true BBC fashion, Keown harbours a severe distaste towards Manchester United, which somewhat hinders his credibility as a pundit.
While Keown is right in questioning Januzaj’s consistency, he is at fault for writing off the 20-year-old and declaring that he has had no impact at Old Trafford.
Amongst the lack of innovation and confidence that threatened to weigh him down, Januzaj was arguably one United’s most influential player under Moyes.
Januzaj is, at this stage, no more than a rough diamond. The Belgian, like any other youngster, needs regular game time in order to achieve that level of consistency required at Old Trafford. Whether Januzaj manages reaches his potential is something that remains to be seen. But one thing is certain: nobody should write him off just yet.