Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/5/13
Football-everton-bolton
Manchester United must be hoping that their most difficult phase of the season is over. With defeats against Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion, and a draw in the Champions League against Shakhtar, United could not have afforded to lose against Sunderland and fallen further behind the league leaders. The biggest worry for United over the past couple of weeks has been the frailties of its central defense. After being torn apart by City 2 weeks back, United’s central defense has been exposed by West Brom, Shakhtar and now Sunderland. Thankfully for them, the attention has been grabbed away by a relatively unknown 18 year old forward – Adnan Januzaj. David Moyes must be lauded for starting the talented winger. To give debuts to the likes of Rooney and Ross Barkley is one thing, but to try out an untested player at a time when ones job is on the line is quite tremendous and must be appreciated. Impressive during United’s preseason tour in Asia, Januzaj was handed his first start by manager David Moyes against Sunderland. Known for his dribbling skills, crafty runs and the ability to take on defenders, Januzaj has left United supporters wanting for more after his first start for the club. In the 70 minutes he was on the pitch, Januzaj has shown more promise and end product than what Ashley Young has since the time he joined United. Such was the manner of the young Belgian’s display that more and more voices are calling for United to hand him the famous number 7 shirt. The 2 goals scored by the winger came in quick succession. They came in at a time when United were a goal down and were finding it difficult to pass the ball quickly against a resolute Sunderland defense. They came in at a time when his manager was under tremendous pressure and badly needed a win. To dig his team out of a hole and show amazing composure in front of the goal is pretty laudable even for an 18 year old. Januzaj’s rest of the game-play was also quite noteworthy. Most teenagers are a bit afraid to showcase their abilities in their first few games. The sort of fearlessness Januzaj showed in the game reminds us of Rooney’s and Ronaldo’s debuts for Everton and United respectively. This is good news for Manchester United. The club has finally found a winger who will attract the attention of not one defender but probably of another midfielder or winger. This should open up spaces for his team mates and give more operating room to the central midfielders. His excellent off-the-ball movement will keep the defenders pegged back and allow players such as Kagawa and Rooney to interchange positions as per need. Having Januzaj on the wing will improve the quality of United’s play, quicken United’s passing and we will once again see the strikers make slick moves into opposing boxes. The critics may argue that one should not judge a youngster on one or two performances. After all, we’re all aware of Feredico Macheda. But Januzaj seems different, very different. This lad can take on 2 defenders at a time, he can provide excellent crosses to the strikers, he can win free-kicks in key positions and most importantly, he can rise up to the occasion and score key goals for his team when it matters the most, just as he did against Sunderland. This is certainly not the last we’ll hear of him in the near future. If Januzaj’s agent is to be believed, the soon to be out of contract winger is being tracked by 7 top European clubs. Manchester United must ensure that the player is tied to the club on a long term basis. Having lost Paul Pogba a season ago, the club cannot afford to lose another talented youngster to a European rival. Club CEO Ed Woodward must get to work on Monday morning and extend Januzaj’s contract before the international break is over. One player cannot change a club’s fortunes. But having seen Januzaj creating such an impact, Moyes will surely at some point of time give chances to the likes of Jesse Lingard, Nick Powell and Wilfried Zaha. Who knows if the young fledglings of 2013 could very well save the Scots career, just as the class of 1992 did for Sir Alex Ferguson. The post Manchester United: Welcome Adnan Januzaj appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
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