David Moyes has warned Adnan Januzaj he has to improve if he wants to return to Manchester United and have a career for himself.
Januzaj, 21, is one of the most exciting players to have come through our academy in recent years and it was a breakthrough season under Moyes where he took centre stage at the club.
Unfortunately that trend didn’t continue under Louis van Gaal and a terrible loan spell at Borussia Dortmund summed up his frustrations. He’s since gone to Sunderland on loan to play under Moyes again but apart from some fleeting performances and goals, he doesn’t think Januzaj has done enough to impress on loan at Sunderland.
“I want to see more from him,” Moyes said.
“I think the goal he scored in midweek for the U23s was a reminder of what he can be. For me, bringing him here, I wanted him to make goals and score goals. Undoubtedly he’s got the most talent here, but he has to show it.
“If he wants to go back to Manchester United and play, or play for a club at that level, he has to show that for Sunderland. He has to show it here and now.
“He knows that, he’s a really good boy and he listens. He’s got a really big opportunity here. I know he has got Manchester United quality, but when the opportunity comes, he has got to show it at Sunderland.
“He’s quite a way into his loan spell now and he hasn’t shown it yet. I thought he actually played quite well in the first five or so games, but it wasn’t enough. We weren’t winning games and his individual flashes were not enough.
“You can be an individual like Jermain Defoe, he scores a goal that wins you the game. I can see what he does. But what does Adnan do?
“I’m still needing him to up his level here. He knows what I think of him, I think he is a great talent, a terrific talent, but he needs to prove it.”
Well, Moyes has laid everything on the table here for Januzaj because he certainly hasn’t minced his words. I really thought out of all the loan spells Mourinho organised that Januzaj to Sunderland was the best one but so far it’s yet to have the impact we all wanted. Given, Sunderland’s woeful form didn’t help but they are on the upward curve now and Januzaj needs to follow suit.
I’ve still got plenty of hope left for somebody who is so naturally talented but it’s only half of the package for a professional footballer, he needs to have the application and desire to work as well as the talent. Right now, he’s lacking in that department.
All is not lost and there is still time for Januzaj to shine at Sunderland but the mere fact Moyes felt he had to say this in public indicates to me that it isn’t working out behind the scenes at the moment for the boy who can do anything.