Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed Adnan Januzaj for progress shown in the years since his move away from Old Trafford. The Belgium international will go up against the Red Devils when Real Sociedad lock horns with the Premier League giants in the Europa League next year. And Solskjaer has praised the 25-year-old.
United thought Januzaj was destined for the top, with Sir Alex Ferguson naming him on the bench for his final game in charge back in 2013.
The Belgian initially flourished in the first team under David Moyes, scoring a memorable double in a 2-1 win over Sunderland seven years ago.
Januzaj struggled under Louis van Gaal, however, and has since rebuilt his career in La Liga with Sociedad.
He’s helped the Spanish side to the top of the table, scoring two goals from eight league games so far.
And Solskjaer, speaking to the club’s official website, has now opened up on a reunion with the club’s former No 11.
“They’re hard-working with high intensity and some high-quality players and they’ve got our own Adnan of course,” he said.
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Solskjaer also urged his players to take Europe’s second-tier club competition seriously, despite the heartbreak of exiting the Champions League.
“It sounds like a Champions League draw and it’s definitely one that keeps everyone on their toes,” he said.
“They’re the team that’s top of La Liga at the moment ahead of teams like Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“I’ve watched them a couple of times and they’re an exciting team and it’ll be a test for us.
“We’ve got some difficult games around that period. It’s not a time we can switch off and feel it’s an easy Europa League draw, this feels like a Champions League draw – they’re top of the Spanish league. We just have to stay focused.”
Former United defender Wes Brown thinks Januzaj will have a point to prove against his old side.
“Any former United player always wants to play well against his old team,” he said.
“Adnan has started off well there, so he and David Silva will want to play well.
“They’ve taken good advantage of Barcelona and Real Madrid’s poor start to the season and I do have to say it’s a tough draw for us.
“But Adnan will want to show his maturity now, after going there to Sociedad and they’re top of the league.”