By Mark Weasley
The post Sir Alex Ferguson era at Manchester United has been somewhat less endearing to the fans than when the legendary manager left the Old Trafford dugout. Manchester United had been mired in mediocrity in the David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal’s era at the club, but it seems that the tide is gradually turning with the effervescent Jose Mourinho. One player who has struggled to impress the Portuguese has been Adnan Januzaj, once heralded as the great hope of the club, and the successor to the legendary Ryan Giggs.
In the ill-fated Moyes era, he was one shining light as the former Everton manager struggled to come to grips with the pressure and expectation of managing such a big club. He ultimately left the club after being sacked in April 2014 following a poor result against his former club. However, his management of the precocious youngster offers a glimpse into the future. With Manchester United struggling with injuries at that moment, Moyes made a huge gamble on the then 19-year-old, and he responded in emphatic fashion by netting twice on his full debut away at Sunderland. He ended the season in a flurry, and promptly becoming the subject of an international tussle among Belgium, England and Kosovo.
The appointment of Louis van Gaal in 2014 changed the landscape forever. The Dutch tactician was less than impressed with the club for giving him the No. 11 Jersey, and offering him a contract near the £50k mark. He didn’t get used much often and that has been the case ever since.
Still only 23, he has been farmed out on loan to Sunderland, where he has struggled yet again and showed nowhere near the promise his early career showed. He is close to an £8.8m to Real Sociedad, which will end his Old Trafford nightmare, and it could prove a valuable life lesson to other young players getting in the first team. It is easier to get to the top, but attitude will keep you there. Januzaj has learnt the lesson the hard way and now is the time to kick on in his career.