Report: Manchester United attacker overlooked due to showboating in Sunderland clash
By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Adnan Januzaj has been overlooked by Manchester United since returning from loan following accusations of showboating, according to a report.
Januzaj, 21, has played only 14 minutes for the first team since he was recalled from a disastrous spell at Borussia Dortmund.
According to the Mail on Sunday, the Belgium international took part in a private duel with team-mate Andreas Pereira during a United Under-21s clash against Sunderland at Leigh on 25 January 25.
It is said both players, who are close friends, attempted to score directly from a corner after Januzaj had pulled off the difficult feat during a behind-closed-doors friendly against Oldham earlier this year.
The Mail claim Januzaj hit the post with one effort and had another cleared off the line but it was felt within the club that he overdid the trick as well as the numerous stepovers on display.
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The private competition in the Under-21s match was reported by staff to manager Louis van Gaal, who takes a dim view of players who put themselves before the team.
The decline of Januzaj into a bit-part player at United has been marked since he burst on to the scene as a teenager under David Moyes in 2013.
It is especially surprising given that Van Gaal has showed immense faith in young players during his two-season rein, handing debuts to a remarkable 14 Academy graduates.
Januzaj has had just two substitute appearances since being recalled from his Dortmund loan, and has not featured since being sent on as an 80th-minute substitute in the club’s 3-2 win against Arsenal on 28 February.
Pereira, who will be a member of Brazil’s Olympic team in Rio later this year, has made four brief appearances as a substitute, three of those in the FA Cup and Europa League.
In the latest Manchester United news, both players could feature again for United Under-21s against Chelsea on Monday.