Adnan Januzaj loan; Hidden Jewel or Damaged Goods?

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The deadline day Loan Transfer of Adnan Januzaj to Borrusia Dortmund was a fascinating deal. Out of the blue and unexpected it was a real surprise considering the lack of attacking options Louis Van Gaal has at his disposal, however little has been said of whether this Loan Move has been a hidden gem for Dortmund or whether Januzaj had become damaged goods from his time at United.

Januzaj’s best attributes when playing for United was his trickery and flair on the ball, however their were questions left to be answered whether he could fit into Thomas Tuchels industrious style of play he tries to implement at Dortmund.

He made a bright start to pre season after opening his scoring account with a clever piece of skill and calm finish against St Pauli which left fans purring and wanting to see more from the young playmaker

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His start to the Bundesliga on the other hand was poor to say the least.

His current Who Scored rating is currently 6.38 which is disappointing for a player who had so much expected from him. He is yet to start a match in the league for Dortmund and has only had 4 substitute appearances off the bench. Within these games having just one shot on target.

However there have been some more positive moments for the 20 year old mostly in the Europa League. His beautiful reverse pass for Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang brought up his first assist of the season and further exhibiting his creative talents on the ball. He has also created five chances overall despite his lack of football so far this season. His flair for taking on players is still burning bright completing 7/10 take ons he’s attempted this season.

Manager Tuchel obviously thinks very highly of him saying “Later on tonight we put him through the middle, [against Krasnador]then put him back on the wing right at the end. He played with great commitment and fluency. He’s on the right track.”

“He needs these games in order to get to know how we play”

The Europa League may be a blessing in disguise for Januzaj giving him plenty of extra games to showcase his abilities to the Dortmund faithful however at the Forecast we thought of a few things Januzaj could improve on to fit in better in with the German Superpower.

One clear attribute to improve is his fitness and willingness to press the ball. Tuchels key philosophy involves a high press in the opponents half suffocating the opposition of space and time. Due to a lack of football, Januzaj looks unable to keep up that pressure for a long enough period of time however as the season progresses that may improve.

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Another thing the Belgian could aim to improve is his strength. It’s clear he’s not the biggest player and with the physicality he may face in the Bundesliga he may need to beefen up before we see the best of him in this league as he is too easily forced off the ball at the moment which is understandable for a 20 year old. This makes it difficult for him to create chances in the final third and retain the ball in tight situations which is crucial for the positions he plays.

Despite this Januzaj is one of the greatest talents the English league has seen in a long time and I am certain he is destined for greatness, be it at Manchester United, Borrusia Dortmund or somewhere else.

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