How Adnan Januzaj is hoping to emulate Cristiano Ronaldo

Adnan Januzaj (low qual)

The Manchester United winger is committed to improving in much the same way the Real Madrid star did during his early years in the Premier League.

Adnan Januzaj is clearly a player refusing to rest on his laurels as he seeks to grow as a Manchester United footballer.

The 20-year-old has made 19 appearances this season, coming after his breakthrough last year when he scored four goals in 35 games.

Still yet to record his first goal or assist of the current campaign, Januzaj may be set to start against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday with Angel Di Maria suspended, and after recent impressive substitute outings, the former Anderlecht youth may get a larger portion of the game to impress.

Speaking to the Manchester United website ahead of the game, Januzaj revealed the kind of training he is doing in order to improve his game, and it sounds very similar to the way Cristiano Ronaldo flourished around a decade ago.

"I do a lot of work in the gym," the Belgian said. "I am trying to be faster and stronger so I can be tougher when I go out on the pitch.

"I am doing a lot of short, sharp stuff so, when I turn a defender or go past a player, I can just get a few metres away from them with my acceleration."

Ronaldo famously arrived at Old Trafford as a fresh-faced and frail teenager, nothing like the powerful forward he has since become. 

The Sporting Lisbon recruit was obviously full of speed and lightning-quick feet, but he took his time to adapt to the Premier League, only managing six goals in his first season, a figure more than respectable for a youngster's debut campaign but a long way off the totals Ronaldo would go on to register.

As he moved into his 20s, Ronaldo started to hit the gym to bulk up, and as he did so it meant that his pace was backed up by a power that would see him become harder to bully off the ball, and also have a stronger physique to resist injury.

Seeing as Januzaj is the most gifted young winger to appear at United since the Portuguese star, it is no surprise that he is adopting a similar routine in order to hasten his development. Though he doesn't possess the searing speed of Ronaldo, the Belgian is nevertheless quick and skilful to the extent that he would certainly benefit from adding muscle to frame.

It may also see an end to the accusations of diving that have followed Januzaj this season, having picked up a booking for that very reason late on in United's loss to Arsenal.

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