Both Manchester United and Sunderland supporters have criticised Adnan Januzaj after the Belgian picked up a red card against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Januzaj joined Sunderland on a season-long loan deal during the summer, reuniting with David Moyes after failing to make the senior squad under Jose Mourinho.
And in his third Premier League outing for the Black Cats, Januzaj was handed his first senior red card after chopping down Ben Davies in the 90th minute of Sunderland’s 1-0 defeat to Spurs.
Supporters were quick to outline their frustration with the 21-year-old.
Looks like the frustration has even affected our players on loan, Januzaj gets his first career red card against Spurs. A week to forget.
— Clinton Al-harazi Eleto (@ClintonSpel) September 18, 2016
Almost a red card on its own, that challenge. Thought Januzaj was meant to be the future of world football? A long way back for him.
— Ben Currie (@bencurrie8) September 18, 2016
Januzaj gets a red. Hasn't really done anything of note with his time at Sunderland.
— “Brad” (@Atlanchester) September 18, 2016
Januzaj – 3 – set up Pienaar for what should've been a goal but otherwise frustrating at best. Ridiculous red card.
— Wise Men Say Podcast (@WiseMenSayPod) September 18, 2016
It was a moment that accurately summed up Januzaj’s monumental decline since his breakthrough season at Man United. His late challenge on Davies, preceded by a rare moment of fervent dissent that merited a booking, was indicative of a frustrated, confused individual.
Trudging off the pitch for an early shower Januzaj cut a solemn figure, perhaps realising that this moment – acting as the scapegoat for Sunderland, a side that hasn’t even looked like winning once in the league this season – signalled his nadir as a senior footballer.
Never has a regular spot in United’s starting XI looked so far away for the continually ostracised Belgian. That said, this red card could act as an important catalyst, a sobering wake-up call for a youngster who has lost his way in the last two years.