Former Manchester United manager and current Sunderland boss David Moyes has instructed Adnan Januzaj to display more strength at the Stadium of Light this season.
Januzaj, who never managed to hold down a place in the first team under Louis van Gaal, was sent out to Sunderland on a season-long loan by Jose Mourinho back in August.
The Belgian has made 16 appearances for the Black Cats so far, managing just one goal, with many criticising the youngster for a lack of consistency in his performances.
And Moyes, speaking after Sunderland’s 2-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion, noted that the 21-year-old needs to improve in the coming months.
“What I would say to him – and have told him – is that we need more from him. He is going to have to show more strength,” he said.
“He has great skills but at this moment he is finding it tough. It was competitive today but that’s good. It can’t always be games that suit him.
“Adnan has the ability to be a really top player but it is for him to show how good a player he is. He has a tough ask here but it will be a good education for him and part of building himself up.”
Januzaj has failed to impress Sunderland supporters since arriving over the summer. Moyes’ men, in keeping with the Sunderland tradition, find themselves entrenched in a gritty, unfavourable fight for survival, and it is becoming clear to supporters that the Belgian – whilst undoubtedly talented – lacks that raw desire and mental power needed to negotiate a relegation battle.
More importantly, however, Januzaj has clearly failed to impress Mourinho, who has reportedly instructed the board to listen to any offers from £8m upwards for the Belgian, despite his stated value being £15m. It would be no surprise to see Januzaj, clearly bereft of confidence after such a long malaise, move on in the summer.