Former Manchester United man Adnan Januzaj has blamed the pressure of transfer fees on managers for his lack of opportunities at Old Trafford.
Januzaj joined United at the age of 16 for around £300,000 before eventually breaking into the first team under David Moyes. The Belgium international started life strongly, bagging two goals on his debut, but his performances dipped and managers began to overlook him.
Following the sacking of David Moyes, Januzaj struggled to nail down a place in the team, with unsuccessful loan spells at Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland before he secured a permanent move to Real Sociedad in 2017.
Januzaj insists now that if he had arrived at United as a big-money signing, he would have been given greater opportunity, telling The Telegraph: “Imagine, for example, if I had started here at Real Sociedad and I could have been bought for, I don’t know, a lot of money [by United]. It would have been different.
"There, I was an academy player, came through the youth and it felt different. Now, if you pay £60-70m for a player he has more chance to play than you. That’s how football is...."
The Belgian went on to claim that he was shown little faith by his managers, leaving him unable to truly make an impact on the pitch.
“I started in the first team and it’s even harder to take criticism when you are such a young player, but, obviously, people were expecting a lot from me. I wanted to show those people but I didn’t have that small chance to do it.”
“I grew up there [United], I was really happy until one year I had a bit of a struggle with the manager and that slowed me down.”