x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Adnan Januzaj giving Belgium manager Marc Wilmots selection headache

Manchester United teenager may not be certain of a starting place in the Group H clash against Algeria, but he did enough in the World Cup warm-ups to ensure he should still have a vital role to play in the tournament.

Adnan Januzaj is feeling no pressure if he gets to play in his first World Cup match having had the experience of representing Manchester United. Francois Lenoir / Reuters
Adnan Januzaj is feeling no pressure if he gets to play in his first World Cup match having had the experience of representing Manchester United. Francois Lenoir / Reuters

MOGDI DAS CRUZES, Brazil // Manchester United’s teenage star Adnan Januzaj has given Belgium coach Marc Wilmots a triple selection headache wrapped into a single, welcome dilemma four days out from his team’s Fifa World Cup opener with Algeria.

Januzaj, 19, may not be certain of a starting place in the Group H clash at Belo Horizonte, but he did enough in the World Cup warm-ups to ensure he should still have a vital role to play in the tournament.

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In the games against, Luxembourg and Tunisia, Januzaj replaced Chelsea’s Eden Hazard with the teenager demonstrating that he can play on the wing, in the No 10 playmaker role as well as being a central attacking role.

“Pressure? I have played for Manchester United in front of tens of thousands of people without fear. Why would it be a problem for me with the national team,” said Januzaj, the son of Kosovan parents.

Everton’s Kevin Mirallas, who probably thought that Dries Mertens would be his sole rival for the right-wing role at the World Cup, concedes that now he has to consider the credentials of the Manchester United starlet.

“Everyone wants to start the match against Algeria and we know that there are important chances in training,” Mirallas said.

The emergence of Januzaj is crucial for Wilmots who now has a player capable of keeping the occasionally inconsistent Hazard on his toes.

“Nobody is guaranteed a place, Eden included,” said Wilmots.

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