Jose Mourinho’s mistreatment of Adnan Januzaj has enraged the Belgian playmaker to the extent that he now wants to leave Manchester United permanently.
It was initially thought the 21-year-old would be shipped out on loan amidst a raft of new arrivals at Old Trafford, among them £89m Paul Pogba.
But after Mourinho dumped him from the first-team squad and revoked his number 11 shirt without prior warning, the Kosovan-born midfielder wants out for good.
Januzaj’s outrage echoes the sentiments that drove Pogba to leave the Red Devils in 2012.
United this week paid a world-record sum to bring the Frenchman back to the club after previously letting him leave for nothing.
He left for Juventus and played an integral role in the Old Lady’s claiming of four straight Serie A titles (despite winning the 2004/05 crown, they had that title stripped as part of the Italian match-fixing scandal, so are credited with claiming just one of the previous nine editions before Pogba’s arrival) and reaching a first Champions League final since 2002/03.
When quizzed as to why he quit United in a 2013 interview, the 23-year-old held Sir Alex Ferguson accountable:
“I didn’t want to sign a contract as Ferguson didn’t play me, even though there were no midfielders there.”
With United embroiled in a mid-season injury crisis during the 2011/12 campaign, Sir Alex opted instead to coax veteran Paul Scholes out of retirement, as opposed to trusting one of world football’s brightest talents with a run in the first-team.
It’s a mistake United have been forced to pay dearly for, yet their treatment of Januzaj suggests lessons haven’t been learned.
In a stellar 2013/14 season under David Moyes, the pint-sized schemer scored four goals and assisted a further three. His emergence was considered one of the high points in what was the Red Devils’ worst ever in Premier League history and won him a place in Belgium’s World Cup squad.
Like Pogba, Januzaj is clearly equipped with great potential, but it looks as though he’ll be realising it somewhere other than United, who are 18/5 to win the Premier League.