Five players Adnan Januzaj must follow to prove Man Utd wrong

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Following his return to Manchester United from a disastrous loan speel with Borussia Dortmund, Adnan Januzaj is under pressure to impress.

Despite being a stand-out success of David Moyes's time at Old Trafford, Januzaj's stock has fallen sharply in the past year. Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has never been considered by the Belgian, with the details of Januzaj's August loan deal said to have included an option to buy.

Six months later and the 20-year-old is back in Manchester, with these five players shining examples of how to prove your club wrong.


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1. Gareth Bale

As a left-footed winger with genuine pace and the invaluable ability to beat a man, Januzaj shares similar characteristics to the Welsh superstar.

As the world's most expensive player - allegedly certified by leaked documents earlier this week - at Real Madrid, Bale seemingly has the football world at his feet. However, things haven't always been so straightforward for the for 27-year-old.

Though Bale's potential was widely known during his career with Southampton, the Welshman was reportedly very close to being sold by Tottenham in 2009. Birmingham City, Nottingham Forest and West Ham United were all reportedly interested with a figure of just £4 million widely touted.

In the end, Bale remained with a subsequent move into midfield sparking a rise that made him one of Spurs' best players of the modern era. 

Having announced himself with that stunning hat-trick against Inter Milan, the Welshman's career went from strength to strength, culminating in his final season when under Andre Villas-Boas, Bale scored 21 goals in just 34 Premier League games.

Madrid inevitably came calling with a £85 million bid, just the £81 million more than they nearly sold him for!

2. Joel Campbell

Though still a relatively understated member of the current Arsenal team, Campbell's rise is a testament to the values of hard work and perseverance.

Signed by Arsene Wenger way back in 2011, from his boyhood club Deportivo Saprissa, Campbell's Arsenal career was immediately interrupted by visa difficulties. 

Successive loan spells to Lorient and Real Betis ensued whilst Campbell waited for the work permit, which was eventually granted in the summer of 2013. Another loan spell to Olympiakos followed before an unconvincing six-month stint under Wenger last season seemingly left the Costa Rican's Arsenal career on the verge.

However, after another loan spell with Villareal, Campbell has become a regular Arsenal player. Aided by an injury to Alexis Sanchez, Campbell has gained a regular starting spot with his assist against Olympiakos and composure in front of goal demonstrating his quality. 

The 23-year-old has six goals in 15 appearances for the Gunners this season.

3. Nemanja Matic

Though his club form has dipped significantly this year - along with the majority of the Chelsea squad - there is no doubt Matic has conclusively proven that the club were wrong to sell him.

Signed initially by Chelsea in 2009 for just £1.5 million, Matic failed to impress as an attacking midfielder and was duly sold to Benfica as part of the deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge in 2011.

Three years later and having converted into a defensive midfielder, Jose Mourinho forced his colleagues to eat humble pie and re-signed the Serbian for £21 million.

In his first Premier League start, Matic was man of the match in an imposing performance as Chelsea won 1-0 at the Etihad against a rampant Manchester City side.

The 27-year-old duly featured in 35 of Chelsea's 38 league games last season as the club swept to their fourth Premier League title, with Matic named in the PFA Team of the Year.

4. Dani Carjaval

Another understated, yet crucial, player who proved his parent club wrong. Having progressed through Real Madrid's youth system, right-back Carjaval was sold to Bayern Leverkusen in 2012 without making a single senior appearance.

Madrid however, shrewdly inserted a buy-back clause and having seen Carjaval voted the third best right-back in the Bundesliga for 2012/13 decided after just one season that they had made a mistake.

The Spaniard was re-signed for around £6 million - he was only sold for around £5m - and duly became a crucial member of Carlo Ancelotti's team.  

The 24-year-old made 38 appearances in his first season back with Los Blancos, including playing 120 minutes in the Champions League final as Madrid claimed their fabled 'La Decima' 

More recently the full-back has been welcomed back to the starting lineup with widespread approval from the Madrid faithful, having lost his place under Rafa Benitez to Danilo.

5. Marco Reus

Following ten years in the Borussia Dortmund youth ranks, Reus was allowed to leave as a 16-year-old in 2006.

In his three years with Rot Weiss Ahlen, Reus broke into the first team at 17 and duly helped the club climb from the German Division three and into the 2. Bundesliga.

A move to Borussia Mönchengladbach followed, where in a further three years, Reus impressed sufficiently to not only be selected for Germany's Euro 2012 campaign but also to attract the interest of his former club.

Reus has subsequently established himself as one of the most sought after forwards in Europe, playing a crucial part in Dortmund's run to the 2013 Champions League final and crucially remaining loyal whilst former stars Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski have both moved to Bayern Munich. 

The German's finest season came in 2013/14 when he scored 16 goals from 26 Bundesliga games, only for his World Cup to be tragically ruled out through injury. 

The 26-year played alongside Januzaj earlier this season under Thomas Tuchel and United fans must hope some of the German's character has rubbed off on the young Belgian.

Who else came back to prove their former club wrong? Let us now in the comment box below!

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