Interesting Read quoted from Bleacherreport
Upon his arrival on loan from Manchester
United on the last day of the German transfer
window, young Belgian midfielder Adnan
Januzaj was met with curiosity more than
Dortmund fans had heard the name, of
course, and some surely had seen him play from time
to time, but on the surface at least, this was a peculiar
Two months later, it's still difficult to make sense of the
decision—from all parties involved.
Consider this: Januzaj has started twice as many
games for United this season than for Dortmund, four
The Belgian had started four games in a row before a
slight injury kept him out of United's meeting with
Swansea one day before the German transfer window
closed. He even scored his team's winner against
Aston Villa. Januzaj seemed to have finally made the
important step up from talented fringe player to
At Dortmund, he is, at best, the third option in attacking
midfield. His only two starts for the club came in the
Europa League, filling in for injured Marco Reus against
Krasnodar and starting at PAOK Salonika when five
regular starters were rested.
In most games so far, Januzaj was relegated to mop-up
duty. Outside of his two starts in the Europa League,
the Belgium international has been on the pitch for 166
minutes in six appearances as a substitute, according
to Transfermarkt.de, which means that, on average, he
got about 27 minutes of playing time per appearance.
That's not to say that Januzaj has been bad when he
got the chance to play. The 20-year-old has created a
team-leading eight chances in his two Europa League
games, per Squawka. He's also looked lively as a
substitute, with his only assist, a delightfully chipped
pass to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against
Darmstadt, coming on one such occasion.
Januzaj's problem is that he's just not nearly as good
as regular starters Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who
can't stop scoring right now. Additionally, the
emergence of Gonzalo Castro on the wing has seen
Januzaj slip even further down the depth chart.
Since all three players ahead of him are just as
versatile as the Belgian himself, his opportunities will
remain few and far between unless Dortmund are
bitten by the injury bug.
Januzaj's lack of playing time is obviously not ideal for
his development, which is why United's decision to
loan him out to a side as strong as Dortmund remains
baffling. One can't help but wonder if Louis van Gaal
and Januzaj himself underestimated Dortmund's
Even more baffling is the decision to loan out a 20-
year-old who had yet to make his breakthrough on the
last day of the transfer window, robbing him of
invaluable preparation time. In a way, this set him up to
fail at Dortmund from the get-go.
His new side have played 12 competitive matches in
the 64 days since Januzaj's arrival. Take out two
international breaks, the first of which he spent with
Belgium, while staying at Dortmund with the few
players not on international duty for the second in
October, and they have played a game every four days.
Even world-class talents like Robert Lewandowski or
Ilkay Gundogan struggled to make great impacts early
in their time at Dortmund—and they were both signed
long before the new season started.
With that in mind, asking Januzaj to produce seems
unfair. Loaned-out players, however, should produce
right away. Dortmund, by all accounts, don't have an
option to buy the attacking midfielder next summer,
although local paper Ruhr Nachrichten have indicated
there might be an informal agreement in place to
make the deal a permanent one.
Januzaj's parent club can't be overly happy with the
way the loan is going, and one could wonder if United
would like to have him back immediately. The Red
Devils have struggled to create much of anything
offensively, as discussed by Bleacher Report's Paul
The way it stands, no one really benefits from Januzaj's
year-long spell at Dortmund.