Adnan Januzaj has dominated the sports pages of late, not just because of his breakout performance against Sunderland earlier this month, October 5, scoring twice to overturn the Black Cats and secure a 2-1 victory, but also because of the national dilemma as his eligibility to represent a number of countries has also involved England and Englishness.
On a purely footballing basis, 18-year-old Januzaj is a naturally left-footed winger and a maker of plays. He is a good runner, both on and off the football, understands space, the exploitation of it and has no qualms about skipping past an opponent. He has a composure on the ball and within pressure-filled situations that belies his teenage years and has a style reminiscent of a hybrid Johan Cruff/Frank Lampard, but out wide.
Speaking to the club's official website, Manchester United manager David Moyes expressed his elation that Januzaj has committed his next five years to the reigning and defending Premier League champions: 'He is an outstanding talent and has impressed me consistently since I came to United in July. His balance, poise and ability to beat players is truly exceptional for a boy of his age.'
Januzaj added: 'It’s a great thrill to be able to sign for Manchester United. Since arriving here I have always felt like this was the right club for me. This season has been great for me – going on the pre season tour, making my debut in the Community Shield win at Wembley and then breaking into the team at Sunderland – it’s like a dream. I want to work hard now and establish myself as a Manchester United player.'
His new contract agreement has gone down well with relieved United fans, assured that the club have secured the medium-term future for one of it's hottest prospects and confident they do not have the next Federico Macheda on their hands. Their enthusiasm, however, is not shared by rival supporters…
Well that's sorted which shirt I'm getting. Not to pile on the pressure or anything Adnan. #januzaj— David Langfield (@dsrlangfield) October 19, 2013
REMEMBER THE NAME ADNAN JANUZAJ !!!— I-Léon Sócra Leé (@Its_LeonLee) October 19, 2013
Adnan Januzaj will never be a Kiko Macheda because he's shown promise in so much more than two games and can actually play football.— Jack Widnell (@jackwfootball) October 19, 2013
For once moyes did something right.januzaj has penned a 5 year contract at united— kelvin gitonga (@gitongasparta) October 19, 2013
Januzaj has just made my day the little beauty!!— Danny Brogan (@danny_brogan19) October 19, 2013
Great news that Januzaj has signed a five-year contract. I was worried we'd screw that up! #MUFC— Asim 'Ken' Tanvir (@AsimTanvir) October 19, 2013
Januzaj perfomes in a single game and Man united fans already think he's Messi..Smh— Thabo (@TheReALkULlkid) October 19, 2013
januzaj = overrated— brian (@bmajaji) October 19, 2013
Januzaj signing a 5 year deal at man u after having 1 good game! The guys laughing!! Hope he's flops— Ben (@BenOkyere94) October 19, 2013
image: © Iris Chase