Stats: How did United youngster Januzaj do on his World Cup debut?

Adnan Januzaj (low qual)

Adnan Januzaj finally turned out for the Belgium national team in Brazil, starting the country's final group game with South Korea.

The nineteen-year-old Manchester United winger won his second cap for Belgium, and made his first ever competitive international appearance as the Red Devils defeated South Korea to win Group H and set up a last 16 clash with the US.

After impressing so much for the Premier League's Red Devils in 2013-14, the winger featured in a tug of war between a host of suitors before plumping for the country of his youth ahead of the tournament.

It wasn't the easiest of games for the youngster, with a competitive fixture made that much more difficult as a result of South Korea's commitment and Steven Defour's red card.

Below we look at the Opta stats relating to the five Belgium attacking midfielders that featured prominently in the game:

  TeamPosTotal Scoring AttTotal Att AssistPassing Accuracy %Crossing Accuracy %AppsMins
Dries Mertens Belgium MF 3 3 68.18 0.00 1 60
Nacer Chadli Belgium MF 1 0 88.89 0.00 1 30
Marouane Fellaini Belgium MF 1 1 73.53 0.00 1 90
Kevin Mirallas Belgium FW 1 5 71.43 40.00 1 88
Adnan Januzaj Belgium MF 0 0 61.11 0.00 1 60

Januzaj was unable to contribute to any shots on goal, also failing to set up his teammates for an attempt. His passing accuracy of 61% was the lowest of any Belgian player, with the winger clearly finding the pace and gravity of the match a shock to the system. In comparison, Dries Mertens on the other wing managed 3 shots and 3 assists, even if he did share a poor passing percentage with the United player.

  TeamPosWon ContestDribbling Success %TouchesWas FouledAppsMins
Dries Mertens Belgium MF 1 33.33 38 0 1 60
Nacer Chadli Belgium MF 2 100.00 17 0 1 30
Marouane Fellaini Belgium MF 2 100.00 53 3 1 90
Kevin Mirallas Belgium FW 0 0.00 35 1 1 88
Adnan Januzaj Belgium MF 2 66.67 32 2 1 60

Januzaj was a little better with his dribbling, managing to beat two players, as many as any other attacking midfielder. Though there was one occasion when he failed to beat his man, it was good that the former Anderlecht youth managed to continue with this feature of his game. He made a decent amount of touches, comparable to Mertens on the other flank and also Mirallas who was playing as a forward. Januzaj also drew more fouls than any other attacking midfielder except his United teammate Marouane Fellaini.

The stats indicate that Januzaj may have some growing to do before he can take his Premier League form to the international stage. In this game, Spurs winger Nacer Chadli came on and had a much bigger influence, perhaps on account of his experience and physical attributes. On the other hand it could just be the younger Belgian getting his baptism of fire out of the way. As the second youngest United player to ever feature in a World Cup, he is more than allowed the chance to feel his way into matches at the very pinnacle of football.

It isn't a stretch to expect the player to have more of an impact from the bench, against unsuspecting opposition, rather than from the start, and it is very possible that that is how he will feature were he to make any further appearances in the tournament.

Whatever happens, Januzaj's experiences of Brazil will certainly stand him in good stead on his path to becoming the world class player he seems destined to be.

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