Back in the summer transfer window of 2016, Sunderland sealed a deal to bring Adnan Januzaj to the Stadium of Light on loan for the entirety of the 2016/17 campaign.
The Belgium international was on the books at Premier League giants Manchester United and had excelled under then-Black Cats boss David Moyes during his time at Old Trafford, but looked set to struggle for game time under new Red Devils chief Jose Mourinho.
And Sunderland manager Moyes sought to bring the talented winger to the North East on loan for the duration of the 2016/17 season, a move which stimulated quite an excited and positive response from plenty of Black Cats fans on Twitter…
That’s why I trusted Moyes ! #SAFC Januzaj is a class signing !
— Keelan Murray (@KeelanMurray1) August 12, 2016
Glad we’ve got Januzaj but disappointed it’s only on loan #SAFC
— Michael Bowers (@MichaelBowers15) August 12, 2016
I can see the tweets now of ‘announce januzaj’ in 12 months time. #safc
— John Davidson (@JohnJamsDavs) August 12, 2016
excellent has huge prospect.
— Joel Thompson (@JThompson2589) August 12, 2016
— Graeme Atkinson (@_GraemeAtkinson) August 12, 2016
Happy with januzaj #safc
— Nathan Ullah (@NUllah21) August 12, 2016
Januzaj is good going. Now M’Vila plz. #safc
— Tom Albrighton (@tmalbrghtn) August 12, 2016
Yet given the Black Cats were about to embark on an absolutely disastrous Premier League campaign, with Januzaj doing very little to aid with the cause, the backfired transfer coup certainly let down these Sunderland fans.
Ultimately, there was much anticipation surrounding the 23-year-old’s arrival given how well he had played under Moyes previously at United, with one game against Sunderland in October 2013 of particular note given he netted twice in a 2-1 win for the Red Devils.
And with a further two goals and four assists under Moyes that season at United, there was genuine belief that the Scot knew exactly how to get the best out of the Belgian star, only for that to simply not take place during their respective stints at Sunderland.
It didn’t take long for Januzaj to score his first goal for the Black Cats, coming in his third appearance in their Carabao Cup win over Shrewsbury Town, but that was as good as it got for the 23-year-old given to failed to score again for the North East heavyweights.
In fact, the winger mustered just three assists in 25 Premier League appearances for the Black Cats and two of those came in the same game in victory at Crystal Palace in February 2017, thus underlining the wholly minimal impact the Belgium international had during his time on Wearside.
He began to fall out of favour as the season wore on with just four appearances in their last eight league matches, by which stage Sunderland had lost their Premier League status in a season in which they won on just six occasions in the league, finishing bottom of the pile.
And while Januzaj cannot be held wholly responsible for their demise, there’s no doubt that supporters were expecting a great deal more from the Belgian star, not least because he has since gone on to perform well at Spanish side Real Sociedad, while it was his fine strike for Belgium that saw off England in their World Cup group stage clash earlier this year.
Thus, while it was clearly a Moyes coup to bring him to the Stadium of Light, it backfired hugely to thus seriously let down these Sunderland supporters.
Sunderland fans… what do you think? Let us know!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience