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Manchester United: Shining the Light on Adnan Januzaj, Red Devil's Latest Star

SO KON PO, HONG KONG - JULY 29:  Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United celebrates his goal during the international friendly match between Kitchee FC and Manchester United at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2013 in So Kon Po, Hong Kong.  (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
Victor Fraile/Getty Images
Joseph DempseyCorrespondentOctober 6, 2013

Adnan Januzaj - He may have a name that is difficult to pronounce at the best of times, but by quarter past seven last evening, ensured the whole country remembered it.

The teenager was at hand to help Manchester United negotiate another hazardous situation by helping them come from behind against rock bottom Sunderland, scoring both goals in yesterday's 2-1 win.

In doing so, he created a little slice of history - becoming only the second player in the famous club's history to score a brace on their debut.

The other, you might ask?

Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

It is clear that the champions have an exciting young talent on their hands, but just who is Adnan Januzaj, and where did he come from?

SO KON PO, HONG KONG - JULY 29:  Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United looks on during the international friendly match between Kitchee FC and Manchester United at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2013 in So Kon Po, Hong Kong.  (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Ima
Victor Fraile/Getty Images

The Belgian-born teenager started his playing career at Anderlecht at just ten years old, and later joined United's youth academy after his 16th birthday in 2011.

Towards the end of the 2012–13 season, he was allocated the shirt number 44 by Sir Alex Ferguson, and though he did not feature for the Red Devils once that campaign, was an unused sub against West Brom in Ferguson's final game in charge.

Januzaj has until quite recently found first team appearances difficult to come by at Old Trafford, perhaps owing to his anonymity among most of the club's fan base.

He was however a member of the starting XI that contested Rio Ferdinand's testimonial against Sevilla, providing the assist for United's only goal in the 3-1 defeat.

That was the first sign of Januzaj's quality, coming off the back of him being named the club's Reserve Team Player of the Year for 2013.

On 11 August, the 18-year-old made his first competitive appearance for United, replacing Robin van Persie in the Community Shield victory over Wigan Athletic.

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05: Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United scores his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at the Stadium of Light on October 5, 2013 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo
Michael Regan/Getty Images

He made his first Premier League appearance a month later, coming off the bench again, this time for Ashley Young during United's win over Crystal Palace in September.

All of which culminated in his two-goal heroics yesterday evening, on his first start for the club. 

If his first goal was a simplistic tap in, his second was majestic, perfectly guiding a sumptuous volley into the bottom corner of Keiren Westwood's goal to ensure United avoided another embarrassment.

That finish, and the quality it is indicative of, will undoubtedly lead to several managers squabbling for his services, both at club and country level.

Eligible to play for five different countries, Januzaj has found himself one of the most coveted properties on the international scene.

The starlet can play for Belgium, his country of birth; Albania, through his parentage; Turkey through his grandparents; Serbia, due to the disputed status of his parents' homeland of Kosovo and England, due to the Home Nations Agreement.

Three Lion's manager Roy Hodgson has already made no secret of his admiration for Januzaj, and with his United contract expiring next summer, nor have a succession of rival teams.

With Januzaj making waves in English football, the latest unbridled talent to do so under manager David Moyes after Wayne Rooney, all eyes will be on this wonder-kid over the next few weeks.

It remains to be seen if the Belgian can take the Premier League by storm like his aforementioned colleague, but one thing's for certain, Januzaj is one to watch out for. 




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