Adnan Januzaj’s return to Manchester United has proved to be beneficial so far.
The reason behind his early return from the loan was him being accused of showing a bad attitude during his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund from Manchester United.
The Belgian winger joined Dortmund at the start of the season after being warned that he was unlikely to be a first team regular under Louis van Gaal. But his spell in the Bundesliga was a flop: he failed to start a single league match and his loan was cut short last week by mutual consent.
However, things seem to be looking pretty good for him at Manchester United right now. Upon his return, he played his way into Van Gaal’s thinking with a stunning display in a 4-0 win for United Under-21s against Southampton on Monday.
Januzaj scored twice and dazzled in the win, lasting 81 minutes before he was taken off, with United keen not to over-exert him following his lack of playing time at Dortmund. Now Van Gaal is ready to give him another chance to prove himself in a United shirt by including him in his 18-man squad for Saturday’s visit of Southampton.
After playing 35 games in his breakthrough campaign at United under former boss David Moyes, Januzaj initially struggled to feature in Van Gaal’s first season in charge. He was sent to Dortmund on a season-long loan to give him more playing time, but after he made just 12 appearances and three starts, Januzaj was recalled by United.
Now the youngster, who is under contract with United until 2018, will be handed a second chance to prove he can cut it at Old Trafford.
Januzaj’s last United appearance came back on August 26, in a 4-0 Champions League qualifier win away to Bruges. He failed to score in his 12 outings for Dortmund and requested to be allowed to return to United following his miserable spell in Germany.
No doubt the early return would have caused some embarrassment for Januzaj, but it has provided Januzaj with an opportunity to force Louis van Gaal to reassess his view of him and his performance last night will have gone some way to fulfilling that.
He opened the scoring against Southampton Under-21s with a deflected shot just before half-time, won a penalty which was converted by Will Keane and netted again himself when he smashed home in the 79th minute. The 4-0 win at Leigh Sports Village was Januzaj’s first outing since returning from Dortmund and will have alleviated concerns about a lack of match fitness.