Januzaj hints when & where the next United wonderkids will be found

Manchester United's most recent successful academy gradate has explained what current youth stars can use as stepping-stone into first-team.

Loan deals are often regarded to be the catalyst for a promising youth player to gain the competitive footballing experience and necessary confidence to give themselves a better chance of graduating into the senior team at their parent club.

Chelsea, for example, have a plethora of players who recently returned from (or are in the process of returning from) temporary stays elsewhere and will either become a part of Jose Mourinho's match-day squad plans, or command considerable transfer fees in the summer market.

Players like Thibaut Courtois, Thorgan Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, for instance, have all demonstrated considerable ability while the names of Patrick Bamford, Lucas Piazon, Nathaniel Chalobah, Bertrand Traore and Kurt Zouma all carry a certain amount of hype.

Manchester United have their own 2014 loan star returning to Old Trafford who appears ready for senior level action, even if he is blooded in during League Cup action to start with. That player, Jesse Lingard, 21, had spells at both Birmingham City and Brighton & Hove Albion this season, yet his talent could be seen during United's pre-season in Australia and the Far East last summer.

"[The tour] is very important," said another player who benefitted from a pre-season tour, Adnan Januzaj, to the club's official website.

Loan spells are not for every precocious talent. Januzaj, for instance, was thrust straight into first-team duty with United and the 19-year-old repaid the management's faith in him by returning an 82% pass completion rate, the production of 31 goal-scoring opportunities, three assists and four goals from 15 Premier League starts.

In a statement that could have implications for when and where the next United wonderkids will be unearthed, the 19-year-old talked up the significance of a successful tour.

"That’s where you have a chance to show your qualities and you get your training [base] for the rest of the season. It’s good for the young lads to improve and show the manager what you can do.

"When I went on tour I knew some of the lads already from the reserves, but I started to learn more about everyone and how the club works.

"When I saw all the fans I was impressed. I saw that United are one of the biggest clubs in the world. I learned a lot over there with the lads and the coaches, how it works and how to get ready for the season."

United's recently-appointed manager Louis van Gaal is renowned for his ability to nurture young, gifted footballers and so the Dutchman may well retain the services of the prospects who impress him the most when the club kick off their pre-season tour this summer, on July 23, when they take on LA Galaxy in the International Champions Cup.

United have a number of international-standard players who are World Cup bound and they will therefore likely be granted an additional week/two weeks leave in order to recuperate, thus allowing youth players on the fringe of promotion to attempt to dazzle van Gaal, like Tom Lawrence, James Wilson and Andreas Pereira. 

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