By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Louis van Gaal has revealed that he is not surprised that Adnan Januzaj struggled to force his way into the Borussia Dortmund team.
Manchester United announced on Thursday that they had recalled Januzaj from his season-long loan at the Bundesliga club.
The Premier League giants activated the recall clause in Januzaj’s loan contract to cut short his spell in Germany and allow him to return to his parent club.
Van Gaal is convinced that the move is in the best interests of both United and the player himself.
Speaking at his media briefing on Friday afternoon, the United manager said: “I believe in the talent of Adnan Januzaj, I have said that also, and I have said already that it would be difficult for him to play matches at Dortmund. Unfortunately I was right.
“When he doesn’t play there too much, he can train better with us and maybe he can play in the first team.”
The 20-year-old had a difficult time at Dortmund, where he made 12 appearances for the Bundesliga club, only three of which were starts. His six league outings were all as a substitute and he has not featured since a Europa League defeat by PAOK Salonika on 10 December.
Januzaj, who is contracted to United until 2018, played four times for the club in August and scored the winner at Aston Villa before pleading to be allowed to go out on loan to gain experience and regular game time.
Van Gaal said it is in Januzaj’s interests to be back at Old Trafford.
“It’s more or less the same as we have done with Will Keane, for example,” explained the Dutchman. “They are coming to us to ask for a second chance, and Manchester United is a club who takes care of all their players. I think it’s a very good habit to do that.”
The winger will build up his fitness with the Under-21s before Van Gaal decides whether to recall him to the senior squad.
The manager explained: “He has been tested already this morning, he didn’t play so much 90 minutes, only pre-season, and he has to show his fitness in the second team and then we also have to see if the paperwork is alright and if he can play in the second-team on Monday.
“He is fit to play, and that is also very good, then he can show his quality.”