Manchester United: The five that got away

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Football News

It would seem that this week Manchester United found a new promising youngster who could be set to rival the likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo as the next big United star. 

18-year-old starlet, Adnan Januzaj, marked his full debut for United with two goals to secure a 2-1 victory over Sunderland on Saturday. 

The Belgium born midfielder, who signed for United from Anderlecht in 2011, has already been targeted by a host of clubs around Europe despite his future looking bright at Old Trafford. 

With Januzaj having the potential to become the next football superstar, David Moyes has looked to tie down the youngster to a new-long term contract. 

This could be for the best with United not having the greatest record at keeping hold of their most talented youngsters in the past. 

Take a look at five of the best players who have slipped through Manchester United's grasp. 

1) Giuseppe Rossi - The 26-year-old striker was brought to United at the age of 17 from Italian side Parma - with the potential to be the club's next star striker.

Rossi only ever managed to make five first-team appearances for the Reds, scoring one goal, before he was sold to La Liga side Villarreal for £6million in 2007. Rossi went on to score 54 league goals for the Spanish side and has won 27 Italy caps. He is currently at Serie A side Fiorentina and has five goals this season already. 

2) Paul Pogba - The 20-year-old France international is one of Manchester United's recent departures. Pogba signed to the United academy in 2009 from French side Le Havre and helped the youth side win the 2011 FA Youth Cup.

He made his first team debut against Leeds United in the League Cup in August 2011 but only made two further appearances before leaving Old Trafford to sign for Italian giants Juventus in the summer of 2012. Despite United's efforts to keep the midfielder he decided against staying and has since become one the best young midfielders in Europe. 

3) Gerard Pique - The World Cup winning defender did not have the best of times at United and didn't show the potential that led him to become one of the world's best defenders. The 26-year-old Barcelona man left his hometown club to sign for United in 2004. 

He made his full debut in March 2006 against West Ham United in the Premier League match at Old Trafford and made 12 appearances in total. After a loan spell at Zaragoza in 2007, Pique was bought back to Barcelona in 2008 after the club met his £5million release clause. Pique has 57 caps for his country and established himself in one the world's greatest sides. 

4) Magnus Wolff Eikrem - 23-year-old Eikrem is one who still has time to fulfil the potential that was expected of him. The Norway international came to United on his 16th birthday from hometown club Molde and immediately played in the club's under-18 side. 

Former Manchester United reserve team manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær brought the midfielder back to Molde in 2011 after taking over the managers's role. 

Eikrem was signed by Dutch side Heerenveen during the summer with the ex-United man scoring against current champions Ajax last month. 

5) Robbie Brady - The 21-year-old was never given a chance to show his potential in the United first team during his five years at the club. After spending two seasons on-loan at Championship side Hull, he made his move to the KC stadium permanent in January of this year. 

Brady helped guide Hull to Premier League promotion and has since shown his ability at the top level by scoring three goals in his first six league games. The Republic of Ireland international could be the next man to show that he was prematurely let go from Manchester United. 

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Manchester United
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