Over the years there have been many transfers in world football that make you sit up and think, “Wow, how have they pulled that off?”- Manchester United bagging nearly £10m for Adnan Januzaj surely sits in that bracket.
To land such a substantial sum of money for a player who’s done little or nothing in the game for the better part of three years is remarkable.
Yes, the former Anderlecht player is still only 22-years-old and does have potential to turn things around yet. But, after two disastrous stints at Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland, one would not hold out much hope.
After breaking into the first team at just 18-years-old under David Moyes, hopes were high within the club that they had unearthed the new Ryan Giggs. So much so that he was handed his famous number 11 shirt and given a new five-year deal to nail down his future.
Life comes at you fast, though, and when Moyes was discarded after a disastrous season in charge at Old Trafford, Januzaj found his play time limited under new boss, Louis van Gaal.
There had been unsubstantiated – yet worrying, nonetheless – rumours over who he had been keeping company with in Manchester and was sent on loan to Borussia Dortmund – a haven for talented young footballers.
The Belgian international failed to make a single appearance for BVB, though. Then coach, Thomas Tuchel, criticised him for a lack of desire and correct attitude and sent him packing back to Manchester.
A following loan spell at Sunderland, under his old coach Moyes, was supposed to be a chance to reenergise a flagging career. He did make 21 appearances for the Black Cats but scored just one goal – in the League Cup – as the North East side were relegated to the Championship.
A move to the Basque Country and La Liga might just be the ticket for the former Anderlecht wonder kid.
Another former Premier League prodigy, Carlos Vela, rejuvenated a stagnating career at Sociedad and something similar could be in store for Januzaj but there must still be huge worries over his temperament and attitude.
£10m for a player who has flattered to deceive for a number of years now – even in this market – is still an incredible sum of money and a fantastic deal for United.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing