Attacker ready to play for Manchester United next week if paperwork finalised
By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Adnan Januzaj will make his Manchester United return on Monday if the paperwork on his loan recall is completed in time.
The 20-year-old winger is pencilled in to play for the Under-21s against Reading as Louis van Gaal and his staff build up his fitness following a month without football.
United announced on Thursday that they had recalled Januzaj from his season-long loan at Borussia Dortmund.
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.
Januzaj will be given run-outs with the Under-21s to develop his match sharpness before Van Gaal decides whether to recall him to the senior squad.
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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.”
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 is convinced that Januzaj can still be a key figure at United but says it is up to the player to maximise his talent.
Speaking at his media briefing on Friday afternoon, the United manager said: “If you have talent you have to develop it. And we have to see that from him. So, that’s why we put him on loan. Then he chose Dortmund.
“But I believe in the talent, but he has to develop his talent, and I cannot predict now if he has changed or that he already has developed because he didn’t play. I cannot do two things and I am here and in not Dortmund to watch him training.
“I have an interest in him, of course, otherwise I would not take him back. I have talked to him and I have told him I want to help him and that I believe in him but you also have to do it by yourself.”