Sat. Feb 27th, 2021

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‘I have no need to defend myself!’: Louis van Gaal responds to Adnan Januzaj’s claim

2 min read

Louis van Gaal has hit back at Adnan Januzaj’s claim that he didn’t show him enough ‘love’ at Manchester United ahead of the Belgian’s reunion with his former club.

Januzaj was highly touted as a youngster at United but left for Real Sociedad in 2017 after a series of setbacks. He now faces the Red Devils for the first time in the Europa League last-32 on Thursday.

The 26-year-old told Sportsmail he found life tough under Van Gaal at United, but the Dutch coach has refuted claims he wasn’t supportive enough towards young players.

Louis Van Gaal (right) has hit back at Adnan Januzaj's (left) criticism of his coaching style

Louis Van Gaal (right) has hit back at Adnan Januzaj’s (left) criticism of his coaching style

Januzaj will face Manchester United for the first time with Real Sociedad in the Europa League

Januzaj will face Manchester United for the first time with Real Sociedad in the Europa League

‘I have absolutely no need to defend myself against so much injustice!,’ Van Gaal wrote in an email to The Athletic.    

‘The self-image of players leaves the wishes! And my career as a coach/manager shows just how many young players could take their chances under my leadership! 

‘With a kind box, LvG,’ he signed off.

Januzaj previously said that Van Gaal’s abrasive coaching style was part of the reason he was not able to fulfil his potential at Old Trafford. 

The Belgian broke into the first team under David Moyes but played just 28 times for the Scot’s replacement Van Gaal in his two-year spell at the club.

‘When I played my first season at United and came through the academy, people were showing me love,’ Januzaj told Sportsmail. ‘The coaches were letting me enjoy my football.

‘Then obviously when a coach (Van Gaal) comes who doesn’t show you love, it gets more difficult to prove yourself and be happy. 

‘Even if you had a bad pass, Van Gaal would shout at you. For young players that isn’t good, you have to teach them. A coach is like a teacher, that’s what I missed the most. 

The Belgian made 63 apperances for United but failed to live up to his promise at Old Trafford

The Belgian made 63 apperances for United but failed to live up to his promise at Old Trafford

‘As young players we just had to sit there and wait for our opportunity to play for 10 or 15 minutes. Okay, we can show a glimpse of our quality but you cannot show how good you are.’   

Januzaj made 63 appearances for United, scoring five goals and providing six assists, but failed to live up to the promise placed on his shoulders by Sir Alex Ferguson.

He was loaned out to Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland with mixed results, suffering Premier League relegation with the Black Cats.

The winger eventually signed for Real Sociedad for £9.8million when he realised his opportunities at United would be limited.

He has since made 109 appearances for the LaLiga side, racking up 16 goals and 16 assists and establishing himself as a regular.

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