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Man United: Louis van Gaal backs forgotten forward and potential Angel Di Maria replacement

Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal has praised Adnan Januzaj‘s quality and tipped the forward to serve the Red Devils as a striker during the 2015-16 campaign.

The attacker broke under the scene under David Moyes and shone during the Scot’s troubled season as United boss. However, while the 20-year-old managed 37 appearances—scoring four goals and contributing three assists—under the ex-Everton boss, his contribution was largely reduced last term.

Under van Gaal, he featured only 18 times—with only seven starts in the Premier League—and failed to register either an assist or a goal.

Januzaj’s struggles had led to speculation that he would spend the coming campaign away from Old Trafford [Chronicle Live]. However, after having shone against Barcelona in a pre-season friendly, it appears as though the youngster could play a key role at Old Trafford in the coming campaign.

“I have given him a chance in this [striker’s] position and you have to look if he can do that or not,” the coach began, speaking after Januzaj’s goal in United’s 3-1 friendly victory over Barcelona [as per the Standard].

“But he has a lot of quality and against Barcelona he showed it for the first time.”

However, while van Gaal has backed the young Belgian to step up and replace departing stars Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao as a striker, might he not do better as a potential alternative for Angel Di Maria?

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While the likes of Wayne Rooney, Memphis Depay, Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini can all offer a menacing threat through the heart of the park, the Red Devils are short of options in wide areas, particularly should Di Maria completed his anticipated transfer to Paris Saint-Germain [Express].

Januzaj, with his mesmerising dribbling skills, his wonderful agility and admirable balance could thrive on the flank and provide the kind of threat from out wide that will be lost with the departure of Di Maria.

 

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