Adnan Januzaj is not a name which you will instantly recognise, unless you are a Manchester United fan. That is because he was snapped up from the Anderlecht academy in 2011 at the age of 16. He is now expected to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious peers emanating from the boom of young, brilliant, in Belgium. We all know the names like Hazard, Kompany, Vertonghen and Mirallas, but there are more exciting young players following them and one of those players is Adnan Januzaj. In fact, such is the meteoric rise of this talent, that Sir Alex has taken the extraordinary step of elevating him to the first team squad for the remainder of this season and given him squad number 44!
Januzaj is not a Belgian sounding name and that is because this young lad was born in Kosovo in the Balkans area of the world. He is an attacking style of midfielder, who is predominantly left-footed, but tends to play on the right side of midfield in a style not dissimilar to Shinji Kagawa. He is also an expert taker of set-pieces. Here is what Sir Alex said about the player earlier this season:-
“Adnan is a beautifully balanced player. He’s only 18 and still to grow into his frame. But he has good balance, good acceleration and he’s a very good technical player.”
Whilst it is early days to be judging a player of his tender years, he has shown tenacity and dedication in training, two attributes that are required for any player wanting to play for Manchester United. I have only personally seen him play once for the reserves, but I asked Coach Warren Joyce what he thought about his future. Here is what he said:-
"He’s grown up a certain way and I think he has had a tremendous education over in Belgium. He’s come over here with good technique and is desperate to be a footballer as well so he’s got a lot of things going for him."
"Adnan is still developing but there’s no doubt he’s got talent too. He’s got a good footballing brain and a good touch. We’re trying to get him stronger and fitter and he’s getting to know the Manchester United style of play as well."
Sir Alex is known for giving young players opportunities if he feels they are good enough and it will be interesting to see if he gets any game time in the last few games for Manchester United this season.