A loan move to German giants Borussia Dortmund was supposed to aid his stuttering development, but instead Adnan Januzaj is returning to Manchester United with his confidence on the floor and in desperate need of some first-team football.
When Januzaj scored United’s winner in their opening Premier League fixture of 2015/16 at Aston Villa, it looked every bit like he would kick on from a disappointing second campaign at Old Trafford, having tantalised fans during an exciting breakthrough season in ‘13/14.
For whatever reason such projections quickly went up in smoke as United manager Louis van Gaal opted to send the 20 year old out on loan to Dortmund at the beginning of September.
A full season of Bundesliga football was supposed to bring the Belgian’s game on leaps and bounds.
It clearly hasn’t transpired that way, with Van Gaal recalling Januzaj in January citing a lack of game time as the reason.
The winger only made six substitute appearances in the Bundesliga, started just three other matches and failed to find the net in a dozen outings in total.
Unfortunately for Januzaj, even in spite of the Red Devils’ rocky season, opportunities to break into LVG’s line-up don’t spring to mind with other youth players like Jesse Lingard jumping ahead in the queue and big-money signing Memphis Depay also fighting for regular starts.
Another loan move, preferably in the Premier League, looks like the best option and given the snapshots of the Belgian international’s talents, Van Gaal’s phone ought to be hot with enquiries from the likes of Sunderland, Swansea, Norwich, Bournemouth and Aston Villa.
Although Newcastle are also down there, Steve McClaren’s squad is arguably still the strongest in terms of options from the bench, so introducing Januzaj may prove difficult.
Sunderland fans in particular will remember the Belgian’s brilliant brace at the Stadium of Light in October 2013 and having bemoaned his side’s lack of quality in the final third against Liverpool recently, Sam Allardyce may wish to pick up the receiver.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.