David Moyes says Manchester United are close to new deal for Adnan Januzaj
Manager hails 18-year-old as an exceptional talent
Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj
David Moyes says Manchester United are close to agreeing a long-term deal for Adnan Januzaj, and hailed the teenager as an “exceptional talent” potentially in the same class as Wayne Rooney.
To say the football world was excited by Januzaj’s full United debut at Sunderland would be an understatement. The 18-year-old Belgian rescued his teetering team with two goals, and Old Trafford is already impatient to see more when fourth-placed Southampton visit this afternoon.
Moyes attempted to manage expectations by denying Januzaj is already a fixture in the team after one game. “Hardly anyone plays week in week out for Manchester United and you wouldn’t expect to find an 18-year-old doing that,” said the United manager but otherwise he could scarcely conceal his own admiration for the teenager.
“He’s a really good player who is going to be able to play in several positions, only time will tell what his best one is going to be. He could arguably play centre-forward with his back to goal, he’s good coming off the left or the right, and maybe with a bit more experience a number 10. He’s an exceptional all-round talent.”
Similar praise was showered on Federico Macheda four years ago but he never quite reproduced his initial brilliance and ended up loaned to Queens Park Rangers and Doncaster.
Moyes is convinced Januzaj will prove more lasting. “I can only judge him against some of the other top young players I have seen in my career,” he said. “That would include Charlie Nicholas at Celtic, Paul McStay, Wayne Rooney at Everton, Ross Barkley. I would certainly put Adnan in that category. And you’ve got to remember he’s 18 years old. He’s still a young boy. I think to play for Manchester United when you are that age is a big thing.”
Keen to stay
Januzaj has yet to decide which country he wants to represent in internationals and has yet to commit himself to United beyond his contract which expires in a year, though he says he is keen to stay. “I am happy at Manchester United and want to commit myself 100 per cent in every game,” he told Kosovo’s KTV. “I want to help United win the Premier League and become the best player in the world.”
The player does not lack ambition, though Moyes claims he is a level-headed, humble boy. “He’s got no real ego to him, he doesn’t mind playing in the youth team or the reserves, and he’s been really well looked after by his dad and his family.”
Marouane Fellaini is to continue playing even though he needs an operation on his wrist. “We can put it off for a while, he can play with strapping,” Moyes said. “The problem is that once he has the operation he could be out for four to six weeks. We don’t really want to lose him for that length of time mid-season, so unless he picks up another injury or a suspension, we are looking at next summer.” Guardian Service