Five loan destinations for Man Utd’s out-of-favour Adnan Januzaj
Manchester United’s teenage talent Adnan Januzaj could have been forgiven for thinking this season was set to be his best yet.
The Belgium international had just penned a new contract to keep him at Old Trafford, after bursting through the ranks to become a Red Devils regular last term.
New United boss Louis van Gaal does not appear to have space for attacking midfielder Januzaj in his starting XI, however, and the Red Devils academy graduate has struggled for game time.
With reports of a possible loan escape from Old Trafford imminent, we contemplate where the 19-year-old could seek his a temporary adventure.
Rumours of a temporary stint with the Toffees have cooled recently, with Aston Villa emerging as the most likely Premier League candidate to snap up starlet Januzaj.
However, Everton still seems far and away the best British destination for United’s fledgling winger, as Roberto Martinez boasts a fantastic record with youth.
With the Merseyside men unlikely to face a relegation scrap and 12 points off the battle for European places, Goodison Park could be an ideal pressure-free environment for Januzaj to regain his confidence.
French champions PSG are fighting on all fronts and could offer Januzaj the chance to showcase his skills on the Champions League stage. An even more enticing opportunity would be playing, training and developing alongside global superstars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.
The Ligue 1 giants’ overstocked squad could pose as many problems for Januzaj as Old Trafford, however, and the Red Devils would have to beware of the potential lure of a permanent move to Paris.
Portugal is often the ideal training ground for top young talents to develop, with highly-rated stars such as Anderson Talisca learning their craft and plying their trade in the Iberian nation.
The Dragons, 11/8 to defeat Basel in the Champions League last-16, are currently trying to make up ground on bitter rivals Benfica in their domestic league and could use some added guile and goal threat from Januzaj.
Any interest from the Old Lady, 28/1 to win the Champions League, would likely be rebuffed after United lost highly-rated academy product Paul Pogba to the Italian giants.
However, the Turin team are apparently on the hunt for a playmaker and could allow Januzaj the game time to hone his skills in both Serie A and Europe.
Januzaj’s potential has often seemed best suited to a more central attacking role, and the former Anderlecht starlet could prosper behind prolific striker and ex-United man Carlos Tevez.
Sociedad boss David Moyes memorably gave Januzaj his debut for the Red Devils, showing faith in the youngster even as United faltered.
Januzaj’s limited but poor performances this campaign suggest he could use an arm around his shoulder, and former mentor Moyes could be just the coach to coax and encourage the brilliant Belgian.
Spain may also suit slight Januzaj’s style, with La Liga potentially allowing this teenage talent more space and time on the ball.
Sociedad could certainly use a sprinkling of stardust after winning just one of their last five outings, and pairing Januzaj and Mexico attacker Carlos Vela together could transform their season.