Former Manchester United manager and current Sunderland boss David Moyes insists he will help Adnan Januzaj rediscover his top form at the Stadium of Light.
Moyes handed Januzaj his first Premier League start for Man United against Sunderland back in October 2013. The youngster turned the game on its head in emphatic fashion, scoring twice to seal a 2-1 victory over the Black Cats after going behind in the fourth minute.
Januzaj went on to have a rip-roaring campaign under Moyes but quickly regressed after he was sacked in April 2014.
Now re-united with Moyes after signing for Sunderland on a season long loan, the Scot is confident about restoring Januzaj to his blistering best this season.
“I’ve said to Adnan, you need to stop blaming everyone else for what’s gone wrong,” said Moyes.
“This loan’s a little bit of a risk. I’ve told Adnan to look at himself and realise that it’s down to him to change it; it can’t always be the manager’s fault or the coach’s fault that he hasn’t progressed.
“Adnan’s got to ask has he prepared right, has he got himself in the best condition, has he trained well enough? And, when he’s got his opportunity, has he played well enough? In a lot of cases the answer has to be ‘no’.”
For all his monumental shortcomings at Old Trafford, Moyes deserves credit for bringing Januzaj into the fold. Whilst the majority of the squad shrunk under the Scot, the Belgian – similar to Anthony Martial last season – acted as the one beacon of hope in an otherwise depleted side.
It’s also spot on to hear Moyes making it clear Januzaj cannot blame anybody else any more and that fills me with hope he’ll be managed in the right way. Maybe we will start to see the real Januzaj soon enough.
After being ostracised for the past two years by Louis van Gaal, Januzaj desperately needs game time and a manager who believes in him. And while praising Moyes isn’t something I’m accustomed to, it is the Scot – above anybody else – who can deliver that to the 21-year-old.