Adnan Januzaj has proven to be one of the bright names from the Manchester United youth academy since the days of David Beckham and Paul Scholes. The Belgian international may have joined the youth academy at Manchester only a few years ago, but there is undoubtedly a feeling that he is a home-grown player. Last season, the 18-year-old broke through into the United team and was a major influence. In fact, many would go as far as saying that the emergence of Januzaj was the only bright aspect of last season when they finished seventh in the table under David Moyes’ regime.
Aged just 19 years old, it was highly expected that the winger would kick on and become the next Ryan Giggs or David Beckham. Such expectations have not been realised in the opening weeks of the campaign after Januzaj has struggled to feature regularly for United. New manager Louis van Gaal has altered the system at United to a 3-5-2 formation. Even though the club are yet to play in a fluid manner, one would expect Januzaj to feature at some point in matches given his impact last season. However, this change information coupled with a raft of new signings like Angel di Maria and Luke Shaw who compete in his position have resulted in him making only four appearances, largely as a substitute, so far.
“Unfortunately, with the embarrassment of riches Manchester United have at the moment, he’s not first choice. He’s still young though and is learning the game. He needs games to bring out his potential. Last season was very poor for United, but he was probably the one shining light in a team which didn’t perform,” said Former Manchester United winger Keith Gillespie about the predicament faced by Januzaj. He fears that the Belgian may decide to leave Old Trafford if the situation persists.
The Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal has given hints that the club is thinking seriously about signing a class winger. The rumours suggest that the Real Madrid player Angel Di Maria might be the man for the Red Devils.
Di Maria is a possible candidate to warm the benches at Madrid in the 2014-15 Season. With James Rodriguez making his way to Bernabeu, there is very little chance that the Argentinean winger would be a regular in the Los Blancos outfit this summer if he stays there.
He was reported to be on the verge of taking a transfer to the French club Paris Saint-Germain a couple of weeks ago. But, unfortunately for him, PSG’s deal with Madrid was cancelled at the last moment with two clubs not agreeing on certain terms.
The cancellation of that deal has now given Manchester United the opportunity to go for Di Maria.
Talking to the reporters about the composition of his team yesterday, Van Gaal said, “Honestly speaking, we are lacking game changing wingers and thus, we will have to adopt a different style of play.”
“The teams having the likes of Ronaldo, Di Maria have that attacking width. There isn’t any such player in our squad”
When asked if he is looking for an impact winger then, the Dutchman gave a diplomatic answer. He said, “I am one of those managers who don’t try and make unnecessary signings. I will bring someone in only if I feel it’s necessary.”
Manchester United has made a total of 3 signings this summer i.e. Luke Shaw (from Southampton), Manja Milinkovic (from FK Vojvodina) and Ander Herrera (from Athletic Bilbao).
More than 50 million Pounds have been paid by the Red Devils for Shaw and Herrera, while, the transfer fee for Milinkovic is not known at this point of time.
Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs retired as a footballer last season after a stellar career. He is the current record holder for the most number of appearances made by any player of Manchester United. He came close to making 1000 appearances in all competitions. During this period, he won every title with United including 13 lead trophies and two Champions League medals. He is regarded as one of the greatest players to have represented the club. Giggs brought an end to his reign as a footballer by not featuring in the last few matches despite being the interim manager.
In order to focus on his managerial career, Giggs announced his retirement. That have been suggestions that United have been considering retiring the number 11 jersey worn by the 41-year-old. This tradition has been followed by some of the top clubs as an appreciation for the club’s long serving players. Some of the famous names who have had their shirt numbers retired include Diego Maradona at Napoli. Giggs, though, has stated that he does not want such special appreciation. He has called on for the club to continue offering the number 11 jerseys to players should they be willing to choose it.
Over the years, United have had several great players including George Best and Eric Cantona. “There are obviously special cases but it just depends on the club, really. I don’t think it’s for United, where they constantly churn over great players. I haven’t thought about who will take over the No.11 shirt – that’s a good question. They’re under pressure, aren’t they? I look forward to seeing who takes it and wish them all the best,” said Giggs. Currently, the number 11 shirt is vacant, but given the way United have been signing players in the last few weeks, it could soon be filled.
Former Manchester United boss David Moyes says that he fears for the future of British managers at the top level of the game after his sacking from United a few months ago. Moyes was appointed as the replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson last summer. He was given a six-year contract in what was seen as a statement by the club that they would believe in stability. However, Moyes was sacked after just 10 months in charge of the role. This was after a poor run of results that left the club fighting to even finish in the Europa league place.
In just 10 months, United had gone from being champions to fighting for a top six place. This poor run of form meant that Moyes had to pay the price with his job. After several months of silence, the Scot has finally come out with the nature and truth of the sacking. He says that he should have been given more time as indicated in the contract. He has pointed to the likes of Brendan Rodgers who have done extremely well with time on their hands. The former Swansea man is one of the few remaining British managers in charge of top clubs.
Moyes says that British managers should consider managing clubs abroad in order to broaden their horizons.
“To do a top job, I believe you have to earn your stripes. The route through to the top for a British manager is a long process and maybe having a job abroad and getting recognised for your work there, might be the way in the future. But I hope I won’t be the last one to be given a chance to manage one of the top ones. Brendan has come in and with the time he’s been given has been able to turn round Liverpool and I think it’s really important for British managers that he’s done that,” said Moyes.
Speculation about the future of Manchester United transfer target Marco Reus has started to rise after the striker admitted that he will be holding talks with Borussia Dortmund at end of the season. Reus is regarded as one of the best young talent in world football. He has been an instrumental part of the Dortmund team that has achieved immense success over the last few years. Reus’ name has not been mentioned as a possible United target during the days of David Moyes, but it seems that the new manager Louis van Gaal, who is expected to be appointed in the next few days, has made him as the number-one transfer target.
Reus was at his best in the recent Champions League quarter-final match against Real Madrid. He almost helped Dortmund achieve an unlikely comeback in the second leg, while he was also one of the better players in the first leg. The 24-year-old has been offered a new contract at Dortmund, but like some of the stars ahead of him, he has rejected the possibility of signing the deal before holding talks with the club. It is understood that he wants to move to the club like United, who will be ready to pay in excess of € 30 million for him.
“We’ll see about that. It’s like that in this business. Every player only has one career and wants to get the best out of it. You have to decide what’s best for you. We’ll see about that. Every footballer has his goals and is dreaming of winning titles. At the end of your career, you want to be able to say that you’ve won many titles,” said the striker about his future. The € 35 million release clause in his contract will come into activation from the summer onwards.