There was so much excitement when Adnan Januzaj sat on the bench for Sir Alex Ferguson‘s final game as Manchester United manager against West Bromwich Albion and that was followed up by a brilliant debut season where he was the shining light in a dark David Moyes campaign.
Yet, heading into the 2017/18 season Januzaj is not part of Jose Mourinho‘s plans and will be sold by Man United this summer. Where did it all go wrong for a player with so much promise?
Real Sociedad one of a few options for Adnan Januzaj. Will leave @ManUtd this summer. One of David Moyes' few successes but struggled since.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) June 22, 2017
Louis van Gaal‘s distrust of Januzaj certainly didn’t help his situation and he was subsequently shipped off on loan to Borussia Dortmund despite impressing in the early part of the season and scoring a cracking goal away at Aston Villa.
His loan spell at Dortmund was an unmitigated disaster but then we always knew it would be. Surely Januzaj didn’t expect to start in a team whose attack boasted the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Shinji Kagawa and Marco Reus? Januzaj didn’t start a single Bundesliga game for the German side and he came back to United more deflated than ever with a career that had stalled ever since Moyes was sacked.
Then came a Moyes reunion and a glimmer of hope for Januzaj. I thought it was actually the best loan move the club had done; allowing Januzaj to play Premier League football under a manager he trusted, it looked like the perfect way to revive that exciting football Januzaj used to play so often.
Januzaj did play some good stuff at Sunderland but the club was in absolute disarray and were deservedly relegated. For all his hard work, Januzaj suffered relegation and it’s not as if he was perfect in the North of England. Moyes had questioned his work ethic on a few occasions and said he expected more of a player who lit up the world first of all with a double against Sunderland in the first place.
Unfortunately for Januzaj, the writing was now on the wall. There’s no way a winger without a work ethic would thrive under Jose Mourinho and his exit is now inevitable. Potentially it is already complete with reports from France Football that a fee has been agreed with Real Sociedad.
I’m really sad that Januzaj didn’t build on his first season. He was so electric at youth level and brought that care free attitude into the first-team but through a merry-go-round of managers and poor loan spells, Januzaj’s career has never moved forward since Moyes departed and now it looks like he’ll have to re-ignite his career elsewhere away from Old Trafford.