Ah, yes, Adnan Januzaj – the prospect who promised so much and delivered so little.
Manchester United fans, think back to the painful period when David Moyes was dubbed your ‘chosen one’ – it’s unsettling isn’t it?
A time when Sunday league football and disappointment was just about the only guarantee fans had when they entered the hallowed grounds of the Theatre of Dreams. When all hopes of excitement were pinned on the scrawny shoulders of football prodigy Adnan Januzaj – a talent who literally appeared from nowhere to supply a modicum of relief for fans who were slowly but surely coming to terms with the long and arduous rebuilding project ahead of them.
Indeed, the Belgian-born winger was one of the very few things United fans could attach their immediate hopes to that term, a boy-wonder to prise them from the grasps of desperation and lift them into the rafters of jubilation and glory. Well, at least that’s what they were hoping for anyway – it didn’t exactly quite turn out to plan, however.
Just like waking from an incredibly realistic dream – you know, the kind you are really rich and all your wildest desires have come true – supporters rose from their temporary Januzaj infused trance and were smacked clean in the face by the wet, unforgiving hand of reality.
An impressive first season under Moyes, in which the winger scored four and claimed three assists, was shortly followed by a disastrous spell under Louis van Gaal.
The new boss evidently didn’t appreciate the young playmaker’s talents – how could he, he ‘wasn’t their man’; he didn’t know of excitement that enthralled the United faithful whenever he touched the ball; the uproar when he wasn’t on the pitch and the contrasting jubilation when he was later introduced.
He managed just 850 minutes the 2015-16 campaign contributing no goals or assists.
Borussia Dortmund seems like a decent spot to send him at the time – surely the Germans can make something out of him like they have with so many others? Apparently not. Januzaj managed just three starts before being prematurely returned to Manchester a lost cause.
An average spell at relegation fodder Sunderland signalled the end of his Premier League career and following the arrival of notorious youth-shy manager Jose Mourinho, he was swiftly moved on to Real Sociedad.
Spain has been far kinder to him than England, and he is back looking his best playing for Sociedad. Happy days.