Adnan Januzaj: A legend in the making
Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj is the most talked about teenager in football
Aged just 18, Adnan Januzaj is already making quite a name for himself, after two goals in four games for Manchester United this season, he is surely the best young talent the Premier League has seen for a long time.
With many nations also staking their claim to the 18 year-old, GMS Academy member James Lehmann takes a look at Januzaj's past, and his potentially incredible footballing future....
Adnan Januzaj was born in Brussels in 1995. At the age of just six, he began his youth career with FC Brussels. Four years later, he then moved to the youth system of Belgium's biggest club side, Anderlecht.
His youth career skyrocketed in the next five years when, aged 15, Januzaj impressed Manchester United scouts in Brussels, and was signed for United's youth system in 2011.
At the end of last season, Januzaj was presented with the number 44 first-team shirt by Sir Alex, along with the prestigious 'Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year Award'. This surely indicates his potential, with previous winners including club legend Nicky Butt, and the prolific 26 year-old striker Guiseppe Rossi, who currently plays for Serie A side Fiorentina, having previously played for Spanish outfit Villarreal.
Januzaj made his competitive debut for United in the Community Shield, before playing his first Premier League game against Crystal Palace on September 14. Then, on October 5th, Januzaj made his first start for the club, scoring two cracking goals as United beat Sunderland 2-1.
This was his breakthrough performance, causing a mass scramble of nations trying to grab his signature for their respective national teams. Among those, surprisingly, was England and Roy Hodgson, who was said he was considering the prospect of Januzaj playing for England when quizzed on the subject by Gary Lineker on Match of the Day.
However, he would be currently ineligible to put on a Three Lions shirt, because of the gentlemanly Home Nations agreement, established by England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Other nations staking a claim for the extremely talented teenager are Belgium, Albania, Serbia and Kosovo, with the first two particularly keen to sign him up.
However, Januzaj's club future looks infinitely more secure, having just signed a new five-year deal with Manchester United before the kick-off of Saturday's game against Southampton.
The 18 year-old is full of desire too, having said: "It’s a great thrill to be able to sign for Manchester United. Since arriving here I have always felt like this was the right club for me.
"This season has been great for me – going on the pre season tour, making my debut in the Community Shield win at Wembley and then breaking into the team at Sunderland – it’s like a dream. I want to work hard now and establish myself as a Manchester United player."
Given Adnan's current form, we would like to wish him the best of luck in his footballing future, and will certainly be watching with interest, as he continues to improve and mature in what certainly has the potential to be a spectacular career for both club and country.
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