Januzaj’s future at Manchester United in the balance

Adnan Januzaj’s immediate future at Manchester United is in the balance, with Louis van Gaal considering whether the 20-year-old should go out on loan next season.

The forward has struggled to establish himself under the new manager after last year’s breakthrough campaign under David Moyes. Januzaj had to wait until 20 October to be given a first start by Van Gaal – in a 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Albion – and he has made only eight in total.

Despite signing a new five-year deal last October which the Belgian’s agent claimed rewarded him better than “Ronaldo and Messi when they were 18” and being handed Ryan Giggs’s iconic No11 shirt for this season, Januzaj’s career at Old Trafford has stalled. With four matches left of the season he has made a total of 20 appearances and has yet to score. Last year he made 35 appearances of which 19 were starts, scoring four times.

This lack of regular football and the potential arrival of PSV Eindhoven’s Memphis Depay, who is the Eredivisie’s top scorer with 21 goals in 28 starts, may convince Van Gaal that Januzaj should be allowed to consider a temporary move, at least.

Depay’s performances have helped lead PSV to the Dutch championship and his goal tally is impressive for a player who, like Januzaj, has thus far operated mainly as a wide player. As Depay is only a year older than Januzaj his arrival would offer a further threat to the latter’s first-team prospects.

Credit: Jamie Jackson/Guardian Sport