Not many players have made it through the Manchester United academy off late. They have been more reliant on the transfer market to bring in players to make a difference. Belgian Adnan Januzaj was one of the last youth products to come through the Old Trafford ranks. His baptism of fire came in David Moyes’ reign and he impressed hugely and kept his place in the squad thanks to his performances.
For a while, it looked like his stock was on the rise. He was the subject of a tug-of-war with many nations vying for his services. He eventually chose the country where he had grown up , Belgium, and even boarded the flight to Brazil for the 2014 World cup. However, his development took a hit when Louis van Gaal took over as manager of Manchester United. The senior Dutchman never quite fancied Januzaj, as he was restricted only to a few appearances during Van Gaal’s failed tenure.
He was loaned out to Borussia Dortmund in the 2015/16 in a bid to resurrect his faulting career, but was brought back to United only after a handful of appearances at The Signal Iduna Park. This season, he has been farmed out on loan to Sunderland, who are managed by the manager who gave him his United debut, David Moyes. Januzaj hasn’t seen much success at The Stadium of Light either, as the club have flirted with relegation all season.
Such scenes have lead to widespread rumours that Januzaj could be on the move again. This time, it is French club Olympique Lyon that have shown an interest to acquire his services. This could be a good move for Januzaj as it gives him a chance to get away from the failures in his career in England so far. Playing in a league with lesser intensity could help Januzaj regain some of the confidence and panache which at one time made him one of the most promising up and coming footballers in England.
Lyon could just be the club for him as they are a club that have shown that they are ready to place responsibility in the hands of young footballers. Several players have made it through the Lyon ranks, as well as using Lyon as a stepping stone to get to bigger things. It could just be the perfect opportunity for Januzaj and if rumours are believed to be true, he should look to escape the relegation battle with Sunderland and make his way to the Stade De Gerland.
Moyes would certainly like to keep Januzaj until the end of the season in order to keep Sunderland up, but the decision is not in the Scotsman’s hands, it solely depends on Januzaj’s desire to progress in his career. Also, Lyon’s willingness to spend reasonably big could also be tested before any move for the talented Belgian is finalized.
Whatever ensues for Januzaj, he should be grateful for the talents he possesses. Still aged 21, he has plenty of time in his hands, but his next move could be the most defining move in his career as he looks to re-build a fledgeling career that is in danger of coming to an end before it truly kick-starts. There could be a few Premier League clubs that could throw their names into the mix as well, but Januzaj should be wary of how it has gone terribly wrong for him in the past.
Therefore, it is quite essential that Januzaj picks his next move carefully and for all intents and purposes, a move to Olympique Lyon would serve him the best. He will get significant game time and the opportunity to work with many other young stars at Lyon, will appeal to the Belgian hotshot. A solid half-season in France will help Januzaj get back to his old self and put his name on the footballing radar again. Such a move would also see his chances of making it back into the Belgian National team go up significantly.