Michael Carrick says Adnan Januzaj can “be anything he wants to be” in soccer. Fans all over Europe are hoping Januzaj wants to represent them.
On Saturday, Januzaj announced himself as a potential future star with an impressive performance in his first start for Manchester United. The 18-year-old attacker scored both of United’s goals in it’s 2-1 Premier League victory over Sunderland.
Januzaj struck twice in six second-half minutes to lead United to a comeback victory. The first goal was a well-placed finish from just behind the penalty spot in the 55th minute. It merely set the stage for the second — a spectacular left-footed volley which displayed the skills that have United buzzing and worrying at the same time.
Januzaj’s contract expires at the end of the 2013-14 season. United will offer him a long-term deal and regular first-team action, hoping to fend off interest from the likes of Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Barcelona. United manager David Moyes thinks United’s (and his own) history of promoting and developing young players makes Old Trafford the perfect place for Januzaj to showcase his talent, according to ESPN.
“A club that promotes young players and I’d like to say a manager that promotes young players. If I was the dad of a young boy who was good enough, I’d be saying I think there’s a good chance of getting into the Manchester United team,” Moyes said. “They push you forward, they promote their young players, and that’s part of my remit. I was more than happy to play Adnan today.”
Once Januzaj resolves his club situation, he must then determine his international future. He was born in Belgium, but his heritage allows him to play for Albania, Kosovo, Turkey and Serbia as well. The FA has reportedly contacted him about playing for England once he is eligible through residency. Januzaj’s agent says he will chose a national team after a picking a club.
Veteran United midfielder Carrick was right on more than one level. Januzaj appears to have the talent to reach the game’s highest level, so he can be as good a player as he wants to be. He can also potentially star for United, City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Belgium, England, Turkey, Kosovo, Serbia or Albania. This gives new meaning to the old adage, which says a young player “has the world at his feet.”
See Januzaj’s first goal below.
See Januzaj’s second goal below.
Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.
First GIF via offthepost.info
Second GIF via Reddit.com/soccer