Fri. Mar 5th, 2021

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Exclusive: Adnan Januzaj opens up on Manchester United buy back clause

3 min read

Adnan Januzaj believes he would still be at Manchester United had Louis van Gaal not been appointed as their manager in 2014 and is open to rejoining the club.

Januzaj, 26, broke into the United side under David Moyes in 2013-14 at the age of 18 and was so impressive he inherited Ryan Giggs’s number 11 on the eve of the next campaign under Van Gaal.

Despite a breakthrough domestic season and inclusion in the Belgium squad for the 2014 World Cup, Januzaj started just nine times for United in 2014-15 and was loaned to Borussia Dortmund in September 2015.

United sold Januzaj to Real Sociedad in 2017 following unsuccessful loans with Dortmund and Sunderland and the winger is set to come up against his former club in the Europa League round-of-32 on Thursday.

When asked whether his opinion of Van Gaal had softened, Januzaj told the MEN: “No, once you meet someone that you’re not going to have the best moments of your life with you never really forget that person.

“At the end of the day, this is the past and I don’t really care about this anymore, I just enjoy my football, I’m happy playing football, started playing football when I was five years old, so I’ve always been happy playing football, that’s what I live for, you know?

“If I had the right people that really were pushing me, that were giving me love and wanted me to play, yes, of course I would still be there [at United], possibly.

“But, at the end of the day, I didn’t have the right people that were working with me, so it was more difficult for me to play. I didn’t want to leave United but when you don’t get game-time, you’re not happy because of a few people, then you cannot stay there and you have to move on and play your football somewhere else.

“The few people? It was the staff – his (Van Gaal’s) staff because I had to do whatever he was saying. I was a young boy, I just had to stay calm and, like we say, I just had to shut up and work on the pitch. That’s it, that’s the most you could do. There’s nothing else you could do. You just had to accept it and enjoy and play for your football.


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“If you don’t have the right people, the right coaches who can push you further then it would be really difficult for you to show yourself on the pitch, to express yourself.”

United inserted a buy-back clause into Januzaj’s contract with Sociedad, which expires next year, and the club failed to sign an established right winger last summer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had left his role as the United Reserves coach to manage Molde by the time Januzaj joined the club’s academy from Anderlecht in 2011 and the Belgian was unsure if United had broached the subject of exercising their buy-back clause.


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“I don’t know,” he added. “Football is football, anything can happen. I’m in the best moment of my career, I’m enjoying my football here, and then whatever will come for me, we will see.

“I’m really happy here for the moment, I have still one more year left of my contract here, so a lot of things could happen, if I stay or if I go, but for the moment I’m really happy to stay here and I’m happy here, so it’s the most important for me.”

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