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How Adnan Januzaj can become Manchester United's star man
28 October 2014 19:09
has warranted a place inLouis Van Gaal
's new-look Manchester United
The 19-year-old has started the last two games for the Red Devils, and may have put in his case to start the Manchester Derby on Sunday when United travel to the Etihad to face Champions,Manchester City
The midfielder has played in seven of Man United's nine games this season, but his only full 90 minutes came against West Brom and Chelsea
On Sunday against The Blues he began to show glimpses of the potential he showed last season.
Januzaj created three chances during the game, making five crosses and attempting four take ons, however he completed just one of those. He had a 80% pass completion rate and managed two shots, both of which were off target.
did when he first started out at Manchester United. Fans would often get frustrated by his constant need to get past players but it if it didn't come off the first four times, you could be sure the fifth attempt would.
, Eden Hazard
and team-mate, Angel Di Maria, you can see his average passes per game is way off the level he clearly has the attributes to produce. It may be harsh to compare him to three of the most naturally gifted players the Premier League has to offer, but much has been made about the potential impact that Januzaj could have in this league.
As a winger, a player must show intent to go forward and be the creative spark on the flanks. Januzaj is playing just over nine passes forward on average each game, creating less than one chance per game, compared to the other three who all over two chances per game or more.
Van Gaal has done well to start him over the last two games, after Falcao
, Di Maria, Herrara and arguably Juan Mata
signed, you feared the worst for a player who was one of the standout performers during David Moyes' ill-fated reign at Old Trafford.
Starting the last two matches can only be good for the young Belgian's progression, but like Sterling it must be monitored and there be some protection for him, especially over fitness.
With United's attacking roster, It would be a surprise if Januzaj starts in the Manchester Derby. However, having a player like him on the bench – fearless and a willing working down the flank – can only bode well for Van Gaal and his team.
The Dutchman will know that Manchester City's defence hasn't been as water tight as perhaps it once was, so using Januzaj at some point on Sunday could be the key to winning the battle at the Etihad.