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09th Oct 2013

Nivea Player Profile: Adnan Januzaj

Two goals for Manchester United at the weekend mean the 18-year old is the man of the moment. Here’s all you need to know about him.


Two goals for Manchester United at the weekend mean the 18-year old is the man of the moment. Here’s all you need to know about him.

After a few months of quiet buzz, Adnan Januzaj went mainstream over the weekend as he nabbed both goals, in pretty spectacular fashion, in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Sunderland.

Already hailed by some over excitable sorts as having a touch of Messi about him, the left-footed winger is certainly a talent, but we will hold off on comparing him to the world’s best just yet.

Remember, that Sunderland game was Januzaj’s full debut, and impressive as he was at times, he made a few errors, including a rather shocking dive early in the second half.

So, how did he come to burst onto the scene this week? Januzaj was United’s reserve team player of the year last season, earning himself a spot on the bench for Alex Ferguson’s last game, that 5-5 draw at West Brom. Januzaj didn’t get on the pitch, but his talent was obviously apparent at that stage.

Januzaj arrived at United in 2011, costing a reported £300,000 from Anderlecht, who had nurtured him for the previous six years. Born in Brussels, to parents from Albania and Kosovo, he never played for any of Belgium’s underage teams, with his Albanian father reportedly forbidding him. Even though England, as well as Belgium, have been looking to get him to declare for them, we suspect that if he plays for anyone at international level, it will be his father’s country.

Januzaj scored his first United goal on the pre-season tour of the Far East, heading in a goal in a 5-2 win over Kitchee in Hong Kong.

He then had a cameo in the Community Shield before making his league debut against Crystal Palace last month. Those who have worked with him at United speak very highly of Januzaj. Former youth team coach at Old Trafford, Eric Harrison, told the BBC that: “With a talent like that you only have to watch him once to realise. His technical ability is absolutely spot on.”

Fine praise from the man who brought through the likes of Giggs, Scholes, Beckham and the rest.

The question now is what happens next? Januzaj is out of contract at the end of the season, prompting him to be linked with virtually every club you can think of this week, and that included Manchester City, Juventus and Barcelona. However, we don’t think David Moyes will let Januzaj out of his grasp and reports suggest United will offer him a bumper deal soon to end the speculation.

As for his on pitch future, we saw David Moyes take the softly-softly approach at Everton when he had Wayne Rooney coming through. Januzaj is clearly full of talent but at 18, he cannot carry this United team. Not yet.

He may share a birthday with Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Neymar (February 5) but he has a way to go to match what that trio have already achieved in the game. However, his arrival into the first-team reckoning has certainly made Old Trafford a more exciting place and we reckon we will see a lot more of him before the end of the year.