Manchester United Midfielder Joins Sunderland, Poses Selection Dilemma

Adnan Januzaj has joined Sunderland on a season-long loan from Manchester United.

by Brandon_Rawlin Friday, 12 August 2016 01:22 PM Comments
Adnan Januzaj has joined Sunderland on a season-long loan from Manchester United.


The 21 year old Belgian international had been informed he was no longer part of Jose Mourhino's first team plans and had been linked with a move to Sunderland almost since the first day David Moyes arrived at the Stadium of Light. 

Januzaj had also been interesting AC Milan, but the winger has spurned the Italian giants to link up with his former manager on Wearside. With Sunderland having completed the signings of Paddy McNair and Donald Love earlier this week, the recruitment of former Manchester United stars has continued at pace and sees Januzaj link up with some familiar faces. 

The Belgian went to Borussia Dortmund on what was supposed to be a season-long loan last year, but returned to Manchester United in January. He had made only three substitute appearances, totaling 17 minutes. There have been suggestions that Mourhino was unimpressed with his attitude in training from what he has seen so far, building on his predecessor Louis Van Gaal's reluctance to include him in his plans. 

Immediate thoughts are two-fold; first is how Januzaj would slot in to the starting line up at Sunderland, a side crying out for attacking options from midfield.  The right hand wing / wide forward slot has been occupied by Fabio Borini who returned to the side after Christmas with some success. Indeed Borini has looked sharp during pre-season too, but for all the strengths he possesses in work rate, putting a shift in and tracking back when required, he doesn't offer the side a natural outlet down the flanks in crossing or being able to beat a full back. 

Indeed, Januzaj can play anywhere across a front facing midfield line up. Naturally left footed, his game tends to benefit from being able to cut inside on to his stronger foot as an inverted winger. He has ability at set pieces and should add an interesting foil to Whabi Khazri's as an option. 

Second, can David Moyes address the attitude which various reports have suggested comes with the young Belgian as part of the package. Januzaj burst onto the scene as a young hot prospect, but by the end of Louis Van Gaal's reign at Old Trafford, he was virtually shunned. His initial burst into the Manchester United team was under David Moyes, so both parties will be hoping for a chance to recapture that early promise.