Adnan Januzaj is cup-tied for Thursday’s huge Europa League showdown against Liverpool, which is a shame for Manchester United judging by his eye-catching performance for the Under-21s against Oldham on Monday.
The Belgium international scored twice in a 4-0 win for Warren Joyce’s side in the Manchester Senior Cup - and one of the goals was an absolute peach.
Januzaj, who spent the first half of the 2015-16 campaign on loan with Borussia Dortmund, shifted onto his unfavoured right foot and bent a curling shot into the bottom corner of the net past the outstretched goalkeeper. (Scroll down this page to see the goal).
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The 21-year-old’s other goal was less spectacular, but Louis van Gaal will be glad to see United’s No. 11 rediscovering his form and confidence following a difficult few months.
Januzaj hoped a temporary move to Signal Iduna Park would provide him with the platform he felt he required to showcase his skills; however, he ended up only making a handful of cameo appearances for the Bundesliga giants.
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Video: Adnan Januzaj's goal
Januzaj's attitude criticised at Dortmund
Dortmund subsequently terminated Januzaj’s loan contract in January and, afterwards, the club’s coach Thomas Tuchel said the winger had failed to show the necessary desire during his short spell with the 2013 Champions League finalists.
"I never had the feeling Adnan was here with his whole heart, but rather that a part of him stayed in Manchester and compared everything with Man United," the Dortmund coach told Sport Bild, per ESPN.
"We were not able to help him let go of it. Sadly, he wasn't in it with the motivation and attitude you need to further yourself at this age."
Januzaj could start v West Ham on Sunday
Januzaj has since made two substitute appearances for United in the Premier League since returning to Old Trafford - against Southampton and Arsenal - but is likely to be named in Van Gaal’s match day squad for Sunday’s FA Cup tie against West Ham at Old Trafford following his display against Oldham.
Andreas Pereira and Regan Poole, two other youngsters on the fringes of the first team, also got themselves on the scoresheet in the 4-0 win.
Van Gaal will name his first-choice starting line-up against Liverpool in the Europa League on Thursday, meaning there should be a chance for a few youngsters to feature against the Hammers at the weekend.
Manchester United fans are desperate to see their side lift the FA Cup following a 12-year wait, but one suspects they would rather win the Europa League now that Liverpool are standing in their way.
Is Adnan Januzaj good enough to become a first-team regular at Old Trafford? Have your say by leaving a comment below.