Januzaj aims dig at Van Gaal for lack of freedom

Alex Turk

Adnan Januzaj has aimed a dig at former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal for limiting his freedom on the pitch.

The once-promising winger emerged onto the first-team scene as an exciting teen in 2013 under David Moyes, posing as one of the few positives taken from the Scotsman's short tenure as manager.

His impression throughout the 2013/14 season saw Januzaj inherit Ryan Giggs' iconic no. 11 shirt as Van Gaal took charge, but it only went downhill from there.

He scored just once more for United between 2014 and 2016 before uninspiring loans at Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland were followed by a permanent move to Real Sociedad in 2017.

Januzaj, quoted by the Daily Star, has since revealed his thoughts about Van Gaal and how his style of play ultimately stifled his development at United:

“There was not the same freedom. A winger needs that confidence, a manager telling you, ‘go and take people on’. With him [Van Gaal], it was a slow passing game. I was frustrated and everyone could see that I was not the same Adnan as the first year. I was sometimes even in the stands.”

The Belgium international's failure to fulfil his undoubted potential still remains to be one of the biggest disappointments to date in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Januzaj has shown real signs of class in Spain this season though, directly contributing to 10 goals in 22 games in all competitions.

It's unlikely we'll ever see him at the Reds again, but it'd be nice to see another academy graduate go on and do great things in European football.

Aged just 25, he still has plenty of time to do so.

Stretford Paddock's Stephen Howson filled us in with the latest Manchester United transfer news last week - make sure to check it out here: