Former Manchester United and current Sunderland boss David Moyes has insisted that Adnan Januzaj possesses some serious talent.
The Belgian was loaned out to the Black Cats back in August after failing to break into Jose Mourinho‘s first team over the summer.
He has endured an ambiguous spell at the Stadium of Light, simultaneously frustrating supporters with a number of sub par performances whilst also producing the occasional moment of brilliance.
And Moyes, speaking ahead of his side’s visit to Everton this weekend, was quick to heap praise on the 22-year-old.
“He’s got a talent he has to show more of,” he said. “His body language at times makes you think he’s not working hard enough but it’s not that.
“His running has been excellent and his effort for the team has been excellent for the team as a front player. He’s a young boy, he should be doing that. He should do Jermaine’s running for him and let Jermain do the finishing.
“I’m probably harder on Adnan than anyone but he knows I’m only doing it for his own good. He’s a good lad that way. “He probably gets more criticism from anybody than me because I think he’s capable of more.”
It is worth considering the possibility that Mourinho, having observed Januzaj over pre-season, sent him to Sunderland with the pretext of improving his work rate above anything else.
Sunderland, after all, is hardly a place where players go to exhibit their individual brilliance; Sunderland is a place of struggle and discontent, somehow managing to survive every year despite never actually improving. And Mourinho knew that, under Moyes, the youngster’s mental and physical resolve would be tested to its limit. Supporters will be keen to see whether or not the Portuguese takes Januzaj under his arm for next season.