Has Adnan Januzaj just been handed a Manchester United lifeline?

Januzaj And United Celebrate

With injuries to Luke Shaw and Rafael, the Belgium international will hope that his time on the pitch will increase soon.

After a tough campaign under David Moyes in 2013-14, the general consensus is that Manchester United are heading in the right direction under Louis van Gaal this term.

The Dutch maestro has seemingly got the best out of his inherited group of players, with the likes of Ashley Young and others prospering under their new manager.

However, one man that has struggled since Van Gaal’s appointment is Adnan Januzaj.

Heralded as the the next global superstar for the Red Devils last season after a number of captivating performances, the Belgian winger has struggled for game time this term.

To date Januzaj has only started four Premier League games and was an unused substitute against Yeovil in the FA Cup yesterday.

The 19-year-old seemingly does not fit into Van Gaal’s preferred 3-4-1-2 formation, with Young and Antonio Valencia prospering as the side’s wing-backs on more occasions than not.

However, United’s poor luck with injuries has continued, with Rafael and Luke Shaw both picking up ailments in the win over Yeovil.

As such, will there be a chance for Januzaj to play as this duo join Young and Valencia on the treatment table?

Van Gaal switched formation to 4-4-2 at half-time yesterday to deal with the player injuries, but in important Premier League games he surely will want to stick with the system that has been working well; 3-4-1-2.

With wing-back options seemingly short on the ground due to injuries to others, Januzaj will want to train hard and put his hand up for selection at left wing-back for upcoming games against Southampton and QPR.

There is no doubting the teenager’s talent and effectiveness going forward, but it seems that Januzaj needs to convince Van Gaal of his ability to defend and work hard also.

With United again suffering from injuries and forced to look for other options, it could well be the perfect time for Januzaj to feature more prominently.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch