Among the few things that David Moyes has managed to get right early in his tenure as Manchester United manager is the belief in Adnan Januzaj, who doesn’t look like your ordinary wonderkid, full of potential but also of youthful faults. At 18, the Belgian winger seems quite prepared to be a big-time playmaker for the club, playing in a mature and calm way that’s really rare for a teenager taking his first steps on the football pitch.
The most impressive thing about Januzaj might be his ability to shift roles and positions and seems perfectly efficient in any of them. He switches wings without a problem and he also plays behind the striker and seems perfectly natural in it. On the backdrop of Wilfried Zaha making his debut and not really impressing while the disappointing Ashley Young got a chance to redeem himself, Januzaj’s excellence was even harder to miss.
The 4-0 win over Norwich provided a chance for Chicharito to improve his scoring tally, bagging a brace early on before Phil Jones and Fabio finished the job. Hernandez will always feel left out and underused while Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are on the team, but there’s no doubt that Moyes could find some more minutes for the gifted Mexican, who has been the best scorer-per-minute since entering the Premier League.
Starting Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic together in a League Cup match tells of Moyes’ plans for the two. It might not mean that one of them isn’t going to start in the next league match at Fulham, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that these are changing times at the Manchester United back four, as the team keeps looking for a Patrice Evra replacements as well. Fabio hasn’t played much this season, but he has shown greater consistency this year than ever before.
Zaha getting his first minutes as a Manchester United player didn’t wow the Old Trafford or give us a clue that David Moyes has been forcing a huge talent out of sight. Maybe, by claiming the young winger isn’t ready to yet to play a major part for the team he was actually right, which looked especially true as he was playing next to Januzaj.
It’s never a wise thing to declare right off the bat that a player is going to be one of the best, but Januzaj is different from plenty of young players who began out quite impressively before disappointing later on. With most of the wonderkids, you see loads of talent but the same mistakes of immaturity, selfishness and decision making. Januzaj? He’s patient, clever and doesn’t try to force himself on the match – all signs that Manchester United have found themselves a true gem which might be already quite polished despite his age.
David Moyes isn’t judged by results in the League Cup, but it can’t hurt to get another win to the slightly growing confidence meter. Who knows, by the time this weekend is over, Manchester United will once again find themselves challenging for the title, and Moyes actually getting an above 50% approval rating.