Everton: Is former Man Utd star Januzaj a sensible option?

The Toffees are reportedly looking at the Real Sociedad player after he impressed at the World Cup for Belgium.

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Reuters/FABRIZIO BENSCH

Unbelievably it has been five years since Adnan Januzaj first burst onto the scene at Manchester United when David Moyes had the reins at Old Trafford. 

Since then, Januzaj has had a bit of a rollercoaster as he failed to cement a place at the club, failed in a loan spell at Sunderland but resurrected his career at Real Sociedad.

A player with undoubted quality, his attitude and consistency have often been called into question. 

The Sun are reporting that the Toffees are interested in a move for the former United star. But would the signing make sense for Marco Silva and Everton?

His qualities

Even the most casual football fan will know what Adnan Januzaj can bring to a team when he is on form – pace, trickery and guile. 

Where there is an issue is that he is very often not on form and can often be seen to put in a real lack of effort that hampers his team’s ability to win football matches. At his best when the team is geared around him, he lacks the overall quality to be a viable option to be picked as an individual playmaker.

When he initially broke through at Manchester United in 2013/14, Januzaj was given a free reign to do what he needed to help the team.

Reuters/MARKO DJURICA

In his first start for Manchester United, he helped the team to a 2-1 victory away at Sunderland as he dazzled the crowd with a superb performance. His two goals were a just reward for his marvellous play and, at that point, it seemed to most fans that United would begin to build their team around the young Belgian.

However, the rest of his time at Old Trafford was shrouded with inconsistency and bad form. He left the club having played 63 games and scoring just five goals – a paltry return for an attacking player in a top side like United.

A loan spell at Sunderland seemed to regress Januzaj further. He scored just one goal in 28 games and that came against Shrewsbury in the League Cup.

Last season, though, was a great improvement for him. Through 18 league starts for Real Sociedad, he contributed three goals and five assists and kept a very impressive 80.5% passing percentage. 

To say that Januzaj is now an improved player to the one we saw in England would be an understatement. But has he progressed enough to make him a worthwhile signing for the Toffees?

Is he worth bringing in?

At a reported cost of around £10 million, Everton would be taking a smart risk on Januzaj. He has the potential still to be a top player. However, when things start going wrong for the Belgian, he has a tendency to go into hiding.

His quality was there for all to see at the World Cup when he scored a stunning goal against England but the hope is that Everton are not pinning their hopes on that moment – it is generally not the norm for Januzaj.

Reuters/SERGIO PEREZ

With other players in the squad who can play in Januzaj’s position, it would be surprising to see him starting regularly which would arguably lower the influence that he would have as he generally needs regular game time to get to his best form.

While the appeal of someone with his quality is obvious, it seems like a move that would not make much sense for the Toffees. Januzaj has struggled previously in the Premier League and would need a defined role to be a success.

For Januzaj too, regular game time at Real Sociedad should be enough for him to stay around rather than take the chance of sitting on the bench all season at Goodison Park. 

Should Everton consider signing Januzaj? Let us know in the comments below.

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