Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 May 2016

Rise of Adnan Januzaj speaks volumes about rest of Manchester United squad

Telegraph Sport: where the debate really gets started

With John Laverty

Published 13/01/2014

Adnan Januzaj impressed again against Swansea
Adnan Januzaj impressed again against Swansea
Biting Back: John Laverty

As everyone knows, Manchester United have millions of managers.

And each one of them has an opinion as to who should stay or go as part of the 'David Moyes revolution.'

Me? I'd ring-fence only four of the current Red Devils squad – De Gea, Fletcher, Rooney and Januzaj; the rest of them can sink or swim.

The good news for Moyes is that, in Adnan Januzaj, the manager has someone who, if he steers clear of serious injury, will be the best player in the world in five years' time.

In a previous life, I had many opportunities to see the teenage Cristiano Ronaldo up close and, for me, Januzaj at the same age is better.

The Kosovan/Belgian/future England international (!) is also, ironically, an alarm bell ringing at Old Trafford.

A squad packed with supposedly seasoned international players is now relying on a baby-faced 18-year-old to bale them out of trouble, as he did against Swansea on Saturday and, even more notably, against Sunderland earlier in the season.

Moyes' predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson had the luxury, a decade ago, of blooding, then resting and patiently nurturing, the young Ronaldo's nascent talent.

But Januzaj is now one of the first names on the current United team-sheet – a compulsory component rather than a charismatic cameo.

And that says a lot more about the rest of an under-performing playing staff than it does about this diamond of a footballer.

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