Goal of the Day: J is for Januzaj

Monday 08 June 2020 02:00

Our A-Z Goal of the Day series reaches double figures today as we reach the letter 'J', which stands for Januzaj.

Adnan Januzaj began his career in his country of birth, Belgium, with Anderlecht, before joining the United Academy at the age of 16.

He rose to prominence in the first season following Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, where he was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing year, as United finished seventh in the Premier League table.
A player of rich promise, he is remembered for his superb Premier League debut, where his two goals – the second of which you can see below – earned United a 2-1 win.
Goal of the Day: Januzaj v Sunderland Video

Goal of the Day: Januzaj v Sunderland

J is for Januzaj and Adnan’s second of his brace against Sunderland in 2013 proved to be the winner…


Januzaj had joined Anderlecht as a 10-year-old, but moved to United in 2011, after impressing at a skills session in Belgium. He was named the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year in 2012/13, and was involved in the first-team squad towards the end of Sir Alex Ferguson's final season as manager.


Januzaj had made four substitute appearances at the start of the 2013/14 season, as United began post-Ferguson life under the new management of David Moyes, but it was the teenager's first Premier League start which really thrust him into the limelight. The Reds had gone behind against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light due to an early goal from Craig Gardner, but Januzaj staged a stunning personal intervention after half-time. He netted twice within six minutes to swing the game in our favour and ultimately secured a vital win. The second goal – today's Goal of the Day – was a particularly memorable first-time, left-footed volley.


Frustratingly, Januzaj struggled to built on an impressive maiden campaign that constituted four goals in 35 appearances. He was handed the no.11 shirt at the end of the 2013/14 season – following Ryan Giggs's retirement from playing – but fared less well under new boss Louis van Gaal.

Soon after scoring the winner at Aston Villa early in 2015/16, he joined Borussia Dortmund on loan, but was recalled early. The following campaign, he agreed a season-long switch to Sunderland. Finally, at the start of 2017/18, he agreed a permanent transfer to Real Sociedad. He remains at the Basque club, and has found form in San Sebastian during 2019/20.

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"I’ve played at United and you’re very conscious of adding too much pressure to young players. However, I genuinely think this guy could be one of the best in the world. I think he’s that talented. He has the ability to drift past people as if they’re not there when he attacks the defender’s back foot." (Gary Neville)
"He's a great player and I'm a great fan of his. I thought earlier in pre-season that he has something special. Over the years I've seen so many young players and I can honestly say that of all the young players I've seen he is right up there in the top one or two. He's a special player." (Robin van Persie)