Adnan Januaj has emerged as of one of Manchester United’s most important players this season. The 18 year old capped a brilliant first premier league start last Saturday at the stadium of light with two amazing goals. With consistently good performances in the premier league so far it’s not hard not to see why Januzaj is now at the forefront of David Moyes’s plans this season. His pace, desire, strong left foot and unbelievable balance on the ball is something reminiscent of a young Christiano Ronaldo on his debut against Bolton in 2003.
England manager Roy Hodgson expressed interested in Adnan Januzaj when asked about him on Match of the day last Saturday. He said, “there’s no doubt that he’s a real talent and we have our eyes on him.”
Januzaj has yet to pledge his international allegiance. He could play for his country of birth Belgium as well as Albania, Turkey or Serbia. However Januzaj can also become eligible to play for England if he lives in England continuously for “five years after reaching the age of 18” as stated by FIFA. This would mean that Januzaj would have to wait until his twenty third birthday if he decided that he wanted to play for the English national side. Januzaj could certainly bring another dimension into the England setup, a left winger with pace who can score goals.
With a new era of talent emerging in the Belgium national side, it would be hard to for Januzaj to even think about the possibility of playing for England, why would he? Belgium are the rising stars of Europe right now. The other problem is the amount of pressure and expectation put on England players to deliver at tournaments. We’ve seen the constant pressure put on Wayne Rooney, England’s best striker since the age of 18 and other young English talent such as Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott. Another other major issue is the continual underachievement of England at major tournaments.
But there’s no doubt that by the time Januzaj reaches 23 he wIll be a much improved and stronger footballer. As much as England are in desperate need for a player like him, I think he’ll turn his attentions in playing for Belgium who have made it clear that they want Januzaj in their team.