A very intriguing question. A question that has different answers in the minds of different sets of people. 21 year old Adnan Januzaj had started his youth career in 2001 with FC Brussels and then moved to fellow Belgian club Anderlecht in 2005. After six fruitful years in Anderlecht, he fell into the eyes of the scouts under Sir Alex Ferguson and they all rated him highly. Accordingly he moved into the Manchester United Academy in 2011. He was very impressive as a teenager in all his youth academies.
Januzaj was moved into the first team squad by Sir Alex towards the final part of the 2012-13 season. He was however not involved in any games. It was under the next manager that Januzaj went on to feature for the United first team. He got his first competitive debut in the Community Shield match against Wigan Athletic and made his EPL debut about a month later in the match against Crystal Palace at home. In his first start for the club, Januzaj scored a brace as United beat Sunderland 2-1. Januzaj impressed everyone in his first season and Manchester United awarded the teenager a new 5-year contract. Just after 10 games for the United first team, he was nominated for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award. But towards the second half of the 2013-14 season, he came more into the limelight for his recently developed skill of diving. He was booked for diving on three separate occasions and the English press and media took no time to make this a huge issue. Then United manager David Moyes took time to talk to the teenager and make sure he understood that diving is not a part of a gentleman’s play.
At the start of the 2014-15 season, Januzaj was given the jersey number 11 with the hopes that he will go on and become another club legend like Ryan Giggs. The season was expected to be his chance to show the world what he is made off. What followed was not a very pleasing sight for the United faithful. Januzaj looked slow at times, completely misplaced the ball, was bullied by strong defenders and also looked very selfish on occasions.
There were times where he could have passed the ball to others which could have assured a goal but the Belgian chose to take a shot himself. Louis Van Gaal eventually started benching him and Januzaj started getting lesser game time. Also, his role in the team got undefined. Sometimes he played on the left wing, sometimes on the right wing, sometimes just behind the striker and on occasions as a false striker. Januzaj looked very confused and faded on the field. Accordingly he was loaned out to Borussia Dortmund at the start of the 2015-16 season but returned back in the Winter transfer window after an unsuccessful spell for the German outfit. Following his return, he hardly had any impact at United. He has hardly got any game time and there are widespread reports that there is a fallout between the Belgian and Louis Van Gaal. It also looks all the more true with Januzaj not even been named on the bench for quite a few games now and with his recent hamstring injury, things doesn’t look good for the Belgian.
To be honest, the future of Adnan Januzaj at Manchester United looks very bleak now. Van Gaal has sold young talents like Danny Welbeck and Micheal Keane and would not be hesitating to sell Januzaj if he is deemed surplus to requirements. The likes of Juventus, Everton and others are supposed to be monitoring the situation of the talented Belgian. I personally feel that it’s best for Januzaj to go ahead and get more playing time at some other club. He seems to have lost his place to the players like Jesse Lingard and Antony Martial on the wings. After them, it is Memphis Depay who gets a shot at the team.
Januzaj has fallen behind the ranks by a margin and it deems fit if he looks at life away from Manchester United. It seems a shame that a youngster who was supposed to be the next Ryan Giggs for Manchester United has become a player who doesn’t even make it to the bench. However, if there is a managerial change at the end of the current season, then Januzaj might get a chance to live a fresh life at United. Otherwise, it looks like the end of the road at Old Trafford for young Adnan Januzaj.