Former Manchester United manager David Moyes has compared Adnan Januzaj to Dutch football legend Johann Cruyff, insisting that the Belgian winger has all the necessary attributes to become one of the very best players in the world.
The 51-year-old Scot - now in charge of La Liga side Real Sociedad - was responsible for overseeing the 19-year-old's first-team breakthrough at Old Trafford last season, representing one of very few positives from an otherwise disastrous ten-month tenure with the Premier League giants.
Januzaj impressed Moyes with his attitude and maturity after integrating him into the Red Devils squad, but he's struggled to make the same kind of positive impact under new manager Louis van Gaal, who has used the £60,000-a-week star sparingly so far in 2014/15.
The talented teenager has made just 12 appearances in all competitions so far this term and has only featured twice since Manchester United's 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on November 8.
He came on as a second-half substitute in the 1-1 draw with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on New Year's Day, but failed to make any kind of impact and was subsequently left on the bench for the 2-0 FA Cup third round victory against Yeovil Town at Huish Park on Sunday.
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However, despite his recent struggles, Moyes is adamant that Januzaj still has a bright future in the game, believing that his undoubted ability will eventually shine through and make an impression on Van Gaal.
"Some youngsters get overawed - [but] not Adnan," he was quoted saying by Goal.com in an interview with FourFourTwo. "I realised that when he came to train with the first team soon after I joined.
"I decided to take him on tour with the first team within minutes of watching him. He wasn't timid but hungry to succeed. He was one of the tour's bright spots.
"When I see his poise on the ball, he has characteristics of Johan Cruyff" - David Moyes on Adnan Januzaj
"He possesses a level of self-assured arrogance, which is a positive as he's not too arrogant. On the contrary, he's a bright lad who is mature for his age.
"He's a wonderfully gifted player with great balance and the ability to go past people. When I see his poise on the ball, he has characteristics of Johan Cruyff."
Comparisons with the former Ajax and Barcelona favourite are, perhaps, a little premature at this stage, but Manchester United supporters will certainly be hoping that all the promise they witnessed last season will come to the fore again in the second half of the campaign.
The future is bright
The Red Devils have enjoyed a significant upturn in form in the past couple of months after going 11 games without loss in all competitions, an unbeaten run that started after the narrow 1-0 defeat against local rivals Manchester City on November 2.
It has lifted Van Gaal's men up to third place in the Premier League table ahead of next Sunday's home clash against fourth placed Southampton, as they look to improve their chances of securing qualification for the Champions League next term.