The breakout season that teenage forward is enjoying is reminiscent of a former Old Trafford number 7, says Quinton Fortune.
The self-assuredness, the dazzling playing ability, physical skills and mental strength that phonem-like wonderkid Adnan Junazaj possesses bears comparison to a former king of Old Trafford, Cristiano Ronaldo. That is the view of Quinton Fortune, a former fringe player at Manchester United who returned to the club in 2012 in numerous guises, including MUTV pundit.
'Everyone around the club knew that he was special,' said Fortune, as quoted by Sky Sports. 'The self-belief and confidence set him apart from the other young players and even though he is playing at a higher level now, he has the same mentality. He reminds me of Ronaldo when he arrived.'
When Ronaldo first joined United a decade ago, aged 18, his feet already possessed a magnet-like quality for the football and was an ethereal winger yet prone to selfish play.
By the time he left, former manager Sir Alex Ferguson had nurtured him into a strong, powerful, all-rounded forward equally proficient scoring goals with his right boot, his left, or his head. He was the archetypal Premier League footballer… and has since gone on to maintain a goal ratio at Real Madrid that is greater than a one goal per game average.
Like Ronaldo before him, Januzaj is so talented and is performing so well with the chances he is offered, that the player is fast becoming a staple in the United match-day squad: 'He is doing incredibly well, he is already one of the key players in the team and hopefully that will continue. If Adnan can follow what Ronaldo did it would be unbelievable for himself and the club,' said Fortune.
'Adnan has exactly the same mentality. [He] still has a long way to go [but] he is a fantastic player and there is more to come from him. Once he gets a few more games under his belt you will see an even better performance from him.'
This sentiment is echoed by the current playing staff, with Danish goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard remarking to MUTV: 'He gives hope to the whole United spirit. Adnan is cheeky both on the pitch and off the pitch. He plays like he's played 200 Premier League games already.
'I'm just very impressed with him.'
image: © Gordon Flood