Boy. Oh boy. Fortune favours the brave, they say. Replace brave with Moyes. Handing an 18-year old promising kid a debut at a time when one is under immense pressure cannot be more rewarding. Adnan Januzaj, the Belgian-born lad who has the liberty to choose to play for Belgium/Albania or even England (apparently) will now have the option to choose to play for some of the biggest clubs in Europe too, after yesterday’s match-winning performance against Sunderland, with rumours already stating that clubs like Barcelona and Juventus are keen on signing the youngster up. This startling debut surely must have reminded many of us that famous Rooney hat-trick against Fenerbahce and more recently the stunning Kiko Macheda brace against Aston Villa that led Martin Tyler say those famous words. (Check the second part of title.) Well, Federico’s progress hasn’t been what we’d have liked it to be. Lets hope Adnan’s progress with the senior team is better.
Manchester United has always been a club that is never shy of promoting promising players from the reserve team to the senior squad and Adnan is the latest of that group. ‘If you’re good enough, you’re old enough’ goes the saying. That is pretty much what’s been happening at the club over the years.
But now, things aren’t the way they were some years back. Players are motivated by a boatload of things and money is one. As much as the players crave for playing time, money has also been the one that tops the wishlist of many of the new lads. Manchester United has already learned the lessons, I presume. Several youth players they’ve released, have come really good in their respective teams: from Brady to Pogba. There have been several.
But, this isn’t the time to panic. A source said, Manchester United have approached Adnan’s parents after the club’s senior cup tie with Bolton. They have been made clear about the fact that Adnan is going to be crucial for Manchester United’s future. In FIFA terms – ‘crucial 1st team player’. But Adnan’s agent De Vriese has admitted the negotiations have stalled since Sir Alex left the club and a number of clubs have jumped at the opportunity to grab the youngster. This is the time for Ed Woodward to make up for his transfer window shortcomings.
Now, the pressure will be mounting on Ed Woodward and Moyes as to when Adnan’s contract issues are going to get sorted. With Nani having signed a five-year extension weeks back, the fans would eagerly be anticipating a similar kind of extension offered to the Belgian starlet before it gets too late. Ed Woodward is expected to act rather sooner this time at least.
David Moyes will now have to start him, and give him the necessary playing time, more often than not. With performances like these, he should be more than pleased to do that. This will not only make him sign the extension, but also make him feel like he’s taken seriously.
It’s no coincidence that Adnan shares his birthday with Manchester United’s famous #7 Cristiano Ronaldo, and his debut with the club’s ‘Best’ #7. There is every possibility he could step off the conveyor belt, and engrave his name into that famous list of magical players. His name offers us a certain clue in fact. For the record, ‘Adnan’ is an Arabic word that means ‘to settle’, ‘to stay’. He seems to be happy where he is and let us hope that remains to be the case for years to come.
Adnan Januzaj. Remember the name. Once you have, let me know how to pronounce it.