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As Adnan Januzaj prepares to face Manchester United for the first time since his departure, the winger has been talking about his time at Old Trafford and why it did not work out. Januzaj burst onto the scene under David Moyes in 2013, netting 5 goals and providing eight assists in 35 senior appearances in all competitions.
However, after Moyes was sacked and replaced by Louis van Gaal, Januzaj’s progress stalled and he went out on loan to Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland before eventually joining Real Sociedad permanently in 2017.
The Belgian international is now preparing to face United in the Europa League with Sociedad and he has criticised Van Gaal’s management.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Januzaj said: “When I played my first season at United and came through the academy, people were showing me love.
“The coaches were letting me enjoy my football.
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“Then obviously when a coach [Van Gaal] comes who doesn’t show you love, it gets more difficult to prove yourself and be happy.
“When Sir Alex Ferguson was talking to us, he gave us a bit of hope. ‘Work hard, your time will come’.
“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.
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“A coach is like a teacher, that’s what I missed the most. It wasn’t only to me but also to other young players.
“To Memphis [Depay] also, he’s a great player and you can see he’s making a difference with Lyon in France.
“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.”
Van Gaal has now hit back at Januzaj’s comments in an email sent to The Athletic.
“I have absolutely no need to defend myself against so much injustice!
“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!
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