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Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Adnan Januzaj Signing Would Be Wise Move

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - JULY 23:  Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United in action  during the pre-season freindly match between Yokohama F.Marinos and Manchester United at Nissan Stadium on July 23, 2013 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.  (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2013

At least one thing could go right for Manchester United this summer: Adnan Januzaj is reportedly close to signing a long-term deal with the club.

The Guardian's Daniel Taylor reported United and Januzaj are in discussions over a new contract and "an agreement is not far off."

For the Red Devils, it would eliminate the possibly of another Paul Pogba situation arising. Taylor evoked the midfielder's situation and wrote that losing him is motivating the club to lock up Januzaj as soon as possible.

Pogba was a promising young player for United, before he left for Juventus in 2012. It led Sir Alex Ferguson to tell MUTV, "It’s a bit disappointing because I don’t think he showed us any respect at all. To be honest, if they carry on that way, I’m quite happy that he’s away, from me, anyway” (h/t The Telegraph's Luke Edwards).

I'll bet United would like to take back that last comment from Ferguson, as Pogba has thrived in Italy.

By already looking toward the future with Januzaj, Manchester United are demonstrating that they've learned from past mistakes. They're not going to let a talented player slip through their grasp again.

Januzaj has had a great preseason. He was even named man of the match in United's 5-2 win over Kitchee on July 29 (h/t Manchester United's official Twitter account).

Only the most diehard of United supporters would have been able to give you an in-depth scouting report of the 18-year-old midfielder before this summer. Now, he's being talked about as a contributor for the first team this season.

It's probably a bit unfair to expect the young player to step up that much in such a short space of time. If David Moyes can give him a few substitute appearances here and there, that's a job well done. Right now, you just need to get him used to Premier League football.

There's no doubt that down the road, Januzaj could be a key contributor. You don't want to rush that, though, because you'll only hurt his development.

From the perspective of the player, signing a new deal with Manchester United is a no-brainer.

Even with the uncertainty of how Moyes will follow Ferguson, there's almost no threat that United are going to fall too far anytime soon. They're going to remain a fixture in the Top Four for at least the next five seasons.

The Red Devils have a very good track record of developing players. Back in the 90s, the likes of David Beckham, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes came up through the youth academy and made United European champions. Then, in the mid-2000s, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo grew to be world-class footballers at Old Trafford.

Even under new management, Manchester United has all the facilities and coaching to turn Januzaj into a great midfielder.

Playing time shouldn't be a concern, either. Given how United need creative midfielders, the young Belgian should have plenty of first-team opportunities in the coming years.

Who needs Paul Pogba when you have Adnan Januzaj?

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