The Belgian erupted onto the world scene under David Moyes in 2013, scoring a brace on his first Premier League start and impressing throughout the campaign.
Under Louis van Gaal he was less successful, making only five Premier League appearances in the season before Mourinho, who sent him on a joyless loan to Sunderland before he eventually joined Real Sociedad in 2017, where he is now excelling.
Speaking on Sky Sports ahead of internationals with Belgium – for whom he scored an excellent goal at the World Cup against England – Januzaj bemoaned how Mourinho never gave him a proper chance at Man United.
“I didn’t really get a chance because at the time he [Mourinho] probably wanted more experienced players with names,” he said.
For me, it wasn’t a problem. I had to move on and now I am happy in Spain and making a difference. I always knew I had the quality to play for Manchester United. I know what I am capable of.
“They didn’t give me a chance but it’s not a problem. I am happy in Spain and enjoying my football.”
Januzaj did not fit the Mourinho profile in the slightest: young, somewhat inconsistent, not performing well in the Premier League, rather slender in frame, less of a ‘fighter’ and more of a wizard.
And perhaps that made him unfit for the United profile as well. Januzaj’s demise at Old Trafford is impossible to separate from the travails experienced by Angel di Maria, Memphis Depay, and recently Alexis Sanchez – all players not too different to the Belgian in terms of style.
For one reason or another, that kind of wide player has not been able to succeed at United for some time.