MX23RW : Tuesday, January 22 15:40:53

Adnan Januzaj: 'I had less freedom under Louis van Gaal'

Former Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj insists that he did not have the same freedom to play his football and express himself under Louis van Gaal.

Former Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj has claimed that he did not have the same freedom to play his football under Louis van Gaal.

The 22-year-old rose to prominence at Old Trafford under David Moyes, scoring twice on his full Premier League debut in 2013 and being deemed one of Europe's brightest youngsters.

However, Januzaj fell out of favour at United and, four years on, the Belgian finds himself with Spanish side Real Sociedad, having been sold by Jose Mourinho in the summer.

Januzaj has largely attributed his stunted progress to Van Gaal's arrival in 2014, implying that Dutchman shackled the 20-time English champions and strangled his enjoyment of the game.

"There was not the same freedom," Januzaj told the Daily Mail. "A winger needs that confidence, a manager telling you, 'Go and take people on'. With him, it was a slow passing game.

"For some it was difficult. You could see some players were not enjoying the football. The manager and I had many difficult meetings. I was frustrated and everyone could see that I was not the same Adnan as the first year. I was sometimes even in the stands. When you work hard in training and then get left out, it's hard for a young guy.

"As a footballer, if you think too much on the pitch, it is never good. You need instinct in your play. When the ball came to us, we had to stop and think, "What are we going to do with it here?", 'I can't lose the ball'."

Van Gaal was sacked by United in the summer of 2016 not long after having delivered the FA Cup to the club.


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Manager Louis van Gaal of Manchester United speaks to Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United atr half time during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on February 28, 2015
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711

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