Former Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj has blamed Louis van Gaal for his failure at Old Trafford.
Adnan Januzaj broke into the scene for Manchester United during the 2013/14 Premier League season and although the Red Devils endured a terrible campaign under David Moyes, the Belgian international proved to be one of the bright sparks.
With Moyes being sacked, Louis van Gaal took over the reins at Old Trafford the following season and the arrival of the Dutchman coincided with Januzaj’s regression as a player.
Eventually, Januzaj never really managed to fulfill the hype that surrounded him during his first season at Manchester United and following two unsuccessful loan spells at Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland, the 22-year-old was offloaded permanently to Real Sociedad this summer.
Januzaj recently spoke to the Daily Mail regarding his struggles at Manchester United and did not shy away from stating that it was due to Van Gaal’s boring style of play that he did not manage to show his true worth at Old Trafford.
He said, “There was not the same freedom. A winger needs that confidence, a manager telling you, ‘Go and take people on’. With him, it was a slow passing game. For some it was difficult. You could see some players were not enjoying the football. The manager and I had many difficult meetings.
“I was frustrated and everyone could see that I was not the same Adnan as the first year. I was sometimes even in the stands. When you work hard in training and then get left out, it’s hard for a young guy.
“It was not only me. As a footballer, if you think too much on the pitch, it is never good. You need instinct in your play. When the ball came to us, we had to stop and think, ‘What are we going to do with it here?’, ‘I can’t lose the ball’.
“Yes. That kind of stuff comes into your head. It was difficult… training sessions too. Under Ferguson, it was always intense. People wanted to win in training. It started to change.
“It was not the United we used to see winning games and winning trophies. Teams used to come to Old Trafford and be scared to play. I had the sense that some teams started coming to Old Trafford thinking, ‘We can beat them today easy’.”