Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj has joined Sunderland on a season-long loan, despite asking to leave Old Trafford on a permanent deal.
Reports earlier this week suggested that new Sunderland boss David Moyes was hoping to secure Januzaj as a permanent player, but United were reluctant to lose the young Belgian for good.
Moyes gave Januzaj his chance in the United first team during his short-lived time at Old Trafford, and has already signed youngsters Paddy McNair and Donald Love from United for a combined £5.5m.
Januzaj scored 4 times in 35 appearances under Moyes, and United bosses will be hoping he can find that form again at Sunderland after finding opportunities hard to come by under Louis Van Gaal and now Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal loaned Januzaj out to Borussia Dortmund last season, where he was limited to only 3 appearances totalling just 17 minutes. Now, Mourinho had omitted the winger from his senior squad and forced him to train with the reserves.
Januzaj was also stripped of the iconic number 11 shirt at Old Trafford before his move to the Stadium of Light, which prompted the 21-year old to request a permanent move away.
Despite that, Mourinho maintains Januzaj has a future at United. He said, “He fits in my plans. That is why he is on loan at a Premier League club. If he doesn’t fit in my plans, I don’t care where he is going, I just send him to Borussia Dortmund where he didn’t play one match. He is talented.”
United’s refusal to allow Januzaj to leave permanently could be related to their recent £89m purchase of Paul Pogba. The new signing left Old Trafford in 2012 for free, and United bosses will be reluctant to see another youth prospect escape the club.
Now Moyes and Januzaj are re-united, they will hope they can rejuvenate a stuttering career over the coming season. If Januzaj does well at Sunderland however, United have ensured they will take the credit, rather than Moyes, by denying him a permanent move.