Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Januzaj following in the footsteps of Ronaldo at Manchester United

Adnan Januzaj courts much attention at Old Trafford

ADNAN Januzaj seems to be following the Cristiano Ronaldo route to stardom at Manchester United.

Just like Ronaldo, Januzaj has burst onto the first-team scene at the age of 18 with a series of dazzling performances.

As with the Portugal superstar, the teenager has become an instant favourite of the Old Trafford faithful.

And, just as Sir Alex Ferguson had to do with Ronaldo, David Moyes has needed to step in and deliver some words of advice to try and curb a tendency to go down too easily.

Yet, as with Ronaldo, Moyes offers a stern defence of a player who has twice been booked for diving, the latest card arriving against West Ham on Saturday, and has now become, on a game for game average, the most fouled player in the Premier League.

"I can only say what I see," said Moyes. "In the previous games he has been getting kicked from pillar to post and the referees have been happy to let that go.

"They have not been too bothered about doing anything about it.

"The boy was wrong with what happened on Saturday and we have told him about it. But we all make one or two mistakes and the boy will learn as he gets older.

"The thing is, when you are getting kicked all the time and folk are lunging into tackles into you, sometimes you have to jump out of the way or you are going to get hurt.

"That is what I continually say. I just hope it doesn't take a sore one before people start doing something about it."

A decade ago, Ferguson was saying very similar things about Ronaldo.

And while Moyes fought shy of comparing the two, it is an obvious reference point for what could be achieved by Januzaj.

"Some people need to realise this is a young talent," said Moyes. "At the moment they are kicking him. They also kicked Ronaldo and look at the player he is now.

"Adnan will also go on to become a great player in time.

"At the moment the job is to make sure he is able to play."

With Robin van Persie almost certain to miss out with a thigh injury and Danny Welbeck a doubt due to a bang on the knee, Moyes is likely to be relying on Januzaj for today's clash with Hull.

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