Belgian-born winger Adnan Januzaj signed a new five-year contract at Manchester United yesterday, tying one of the Premier League’s most precocious talents to the champions until 2018.
The 18-year-old Januzaj has made his breakthrough at United this season, including scoring twice in a 2-1 win over Sunderland before the recent international break. His performances have sparked a debate about where his international future lies.
“He is an outstanding talent,” United manager David Moyes said. “His balance, poise and ability to beat players is truly exceptional for a boy of his age. It’s great that he recognizes that this club, with its tradition for developing young players and giving them a chance on the biggest stage, is the best place for him to be.”
In addition to Belgium, Januzaj is eligible to represent Serbia, Albania and Turkey, as well as Kosovo, which is not yet recognized by FIFA.
The Football Association is also looking into whether Januzaj could play for England, although he would only be eligible in 2018 on residency grounds provided he has not played for a senior national team in a competitive fixture by then.
He has so far declined to play for Belgium.
“It’s a great thrill to be able to sign for Manchester United,” said Januzaj, who joined the club in 2011. “Since arriving here, I have always felt like this was the right club for me.”
“This season has been great for me — going on the pre-season tour, making my debut in the Community Shield win at Wembley and then breaking into the team at Sunderland. It’s like a dream,” he said.