Former Manchester United star, Adnan Januzaj, has heaped praise on Olé Gunnar Solskjaer for the manner he’s handled players from our youth system.
A product of our academy himself, Januzaj believes he wasn’t given enough freedom and time to show his quality at Old Trafford under then manager, Louis van Gaal, unlike the likes of Rashford and Axel Tuanzebe, who have performed well under Solskjaer, and the Belgian has hailed him for the way he carries everyone along.
“You can see Ole is really nice and loves the players from the academy,” Januzaj said. “For young players like Marcus they are very lucky to have a coach like that.
“When you are a young boy and you’re being criticised for things you never did – the coach’s excuse was that I wasn’t training very well – I couldn’t understand. You play like you train. If I was doing well in games, I don’t think I was that bad in training.
“People had a bad image of me and that’s the one regret, that I had lot people questioning my mentality.
“Van Gaal told me at the last minute that I could go on loan and I was rushed off to Germany.
“Maybe I went too early but I just wanted to play football. I didn’t want to be sat on the bench for six or seven games in a row.”
Januzaj has enjoyed more game time since he made the switch to Real Sociedad in 2017, and the 26 year old admits he feels more at home in Spain.
“I was a bit scared of how I was going to fit in and the lifestyle, but today I’m really chilled and happy here,” he says.
“I’ve learned a lot in terms of how to behave myself and stay calm. I worked a lot for the past few years on that. Somebody who works in this club helped me to be mentally more relaxed and let my football flow.
“Now people are talking totally differently about me. I never had problems with any coaches, I always work hard and I’ve got two World Cups in me.
“I will tell you the truth, from my first year at United to now I’m a totally different player. I’ve changed a lot in terms of quality, confidence and mentality. I’m enjoying my football.
“If you don’t enjoy it somewhere, you have to enjoy it somewhere else. Life doesn’t stop.”