When Adnan Januzaj first burst onto the scene back at Manchester United few would have backed against the Belgian going on to be a success at Old Trafford. Now, six years later, the then teenage sensation now finds himself at Real Sociedad as he battles to revitalise his career.
Cast your minds back to the stadium of light 5th October 2013 to be exact. United headed to the north east to face Sunderland needing a vital three points to keep in touch with leaders Manchester City at the top of the premier league table. 1-0 down and seemingly no way back United needed a hero someone who could get them back in the game and in Januzaj they found one. The Belgian rescued United that day with two wonderful strikes one of which was a contender for goal of the season. It was the moment Januzaj announced himself to the Manchester United faithful and the moment where we all thought he would go on and become a star at Old Trafford. Unfortunately this didn’t happen.
It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly what exactly went wrong for Januzaj at Old Trafford as I feel there were multiple factors. United underwent a host of managerial changes in David Moyes, Ryan Giggs, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho during the Belgian’s time at Old Trafford. Add United’s mixed results on the field combined with the weight of the world on his shoulders and it was always going to be a tough task for Januzaj to live up to expectations.
Had Januzaj come onto the scene a few years earlier under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson then it could have been an entirely different story. Not only was Januzaj then just a teenager back then but he also had to deal with United struggling on the pitch.
The Reds were no longer the force they once were during the Fergie era and Januzaj found himself in the spotlight needing to preform week in week out. United were relying on the youngster to far too often and I feel that pressure was in the end too much.
Fast forward to the present day and Januzaj now finds himself at Spanish club Real Sociedad where he has been at since 2017. He had his moments of brilliance but its still a far cry from what from what we thought he could have achieved and with the Belgian now 25 years of age the chances of Januzaj ever fulfilling his potential appears unlikely.