Adnan Januzaj's second half display for Manchester United against Sunderland this past weekend reminded us of just what he's all about.
Bursting onto the scene under David Moyes last term, the teenager proved a shining light for the Red Devils in one of the most turbulent campaigns in the club's recent history.
Season to remember
There's no doubt about it, the performances of the now Belgian international softened the blow for fans of the club, as they desperately went in search of some joy in an utterly desperate season in the post Sir Alex Ferguson era.
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Januzaj offered that light at the end of the tunnel; the Red Devils faithful had found a new hero. But things changed over the summer.
Out went Moyes and in came Van Gaal - and United fans expected the Dutch master to turn the most talented youngster at the club into a world beater. That - until now - has not been the case.
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Struggles under Van Gaal
Despite taking on the famous No.11 shirt, which was vacated by the legendary Ryan Giggs, Januzaj just hasn't kicked on. In fact, he has gone backwards to the surprise of many at Old Trafford.
With Van Gaal's track record of developing youngsters, so many expected big things from Januzaj. And with Giggs, who clearly rates the youngster, taking the role as the club's No.2, the versatile wide-man was seemingly in the best place to continue his development.
But opportunities have been hard to come by for Januzaj. He's been used sparingly; he hasn't been given a run in the side for a consistent period of time; he hasn't even scored a goal for the first team this season.
He has, however, been handed chances at times, but he's hardly set the world alight. He - and United fans - would have expected so much more.
Now is his time
The youngster must now hope that this past weekend's fixture with Sunderland was the turning point in his season. When Van Gaal needed him, he stood up and showed just what he's all about.
It's now up to him to kick on. The talented wide-man, who may well end up off the striker in years to come, will no doubt be desperate to claim a starting role ahead of United's trip to St James' Park to take on Newcastle United tomorrow evening.
Another strong performance tomorrow would increase his confidence, and it's something that could do wonders for both himself and his club. It's not just Januzaj who has struggled this term; the likes of Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie and Co. have all failed to live up to expectations.
Perhaps, then, the man to stand up and be counted on over the coming months is Januzaj. Why not? We all know that he has the ability and class to succeed.
The Red Devils have some huge fixtures coming up in the months of March and April, and their special talent could be key to them producing the goods. He was handed a taste of Champions League football last term, and he could be the player to bring it back to the club.
Van Gaal must trust him, and he must trust himself to deliver. If he can do that then he will be like a new signing for the club.
Last month Januzaj turned 20-years-old; he must now show that he is developing and maturing into the player that we all expect him to ultimately become.
Manchester United fans: Do you think Januzaj has a key role to play between now and the end of the season? Have your say in the comments section below!
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