Manchester United wonder boy Adnan Januzaj has quashed speculation surrounding which country he will pledge his footballing allegiance to by hammering his colours to the Belgian mast.
Kosovo, Albania and even England are potential international options for the Brussels-born 19-year-old, but all have been ignored in favour of flavour of the month Belgium, who can be backed to win a maiden World Cup at 14/1.
Januzaj’s agent has come out to declare that there is no guarantee from Rode Duivels’ boss Marc Wilmots that the lightweight lock picker will be included in the squad for the trip to Brazil, but he’d be foolish not to blood the youngster on the grandest of stages and here are the reasons why:
Having shone on the left-wing for Man Utd, he could provide excellent cover for star man Eden Hazard.
Should the atom bomb in the Belgian weaponry find himself defused for any reason, they’d have a tailor-made replacement to slot in.
Shifting one of Kevin Mirallas or Nacer Chadli out wide could potentially compromise their system, while Januzaj’s creativity on the flank would be of more use than the direct, driving for goal approach the other two adopt.
His versatility is exactly what’s required from a squad player at an international tournament.
Able to operate equally well down the left, Januzaj has also popped up through the middle and on the right for the Red Devils this term.
Three of his four goals this term have come from his left-wing berth, as have all of his assists, but he’s capable of flourishing anywhere across the midfield.
With the Belgian side tending to play with one target man leading the line, calling up a striker to replace Benteke isn’t essential.
This approach involves a bit of a gamble in the sense that any injury suffered by Romelu Lukaku would be ruinous, but if he stays fit then the Rote Teufel would be arguably in a better position without drafting a direct replacement for the downed Aston Villa man.
Lukaku has prospered at Everton in a similar system, with vibrant supporting attackers, such as compatriot Kevin Mirallas, buzzing around him creating chances.
Januzaj is of this ilk and, while he almost certainly wouldn’t be a starter, the United star could be a handy asset to keep in reserve as the team aim to extract the best from new focal point Lukaku.