Adnan Januzaj among 'the best I have seen', says Manchester United team-mate Darren Fletcher

The youngster was influential in the 2-0 victory over Swansea

Darren Fletcher has predicted a big future for Manchester United team-mate Adnan Januzaj.

In the absence of Wayne Rooney, the 18-year-old has taken on the role of United talisman and, though he did not score, was the inspiration behind Saturday's 2-0 Premier League win over Swansea at Old Trafford.

Fletcher was certainly impressed, and the Scot feels he has the potential to match any player he has worked with at United, which considering that number includes Cristiano Ronaldo is praise indeed.

"For his age, he is up there with some of the best I have seen, without a shadow of a doubt," said Fletcher.

"He is a great kid. There is no ego. He wants to learn and listens to advice he is being given. He just wants to go out on the pitch and express himself.

"Hopefully we have given him a platform to do that.

"The fans have taken to him straight away and he is making an impact. Hopefully he is here for a long time."

In what has turned into a tortuous debut season for manager David Moyes, Januzaj offers a genuine reason for optimism.

After three successive defeats, the youngster had a hand in the second-half goals for Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck that ensured the sorry run came to an end.

There was no chance of Moyes getting carried away though, not when he knew the failure of Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa and Chris Smalling to take clear opportunities prevented United from recording their biggest Premier League win of the season.

"We deserved to score more," said the Scot.

"There were chances. It is annoying me because we have to start taking them."

With a rare blank midweek, and an unwanted 52-year old record for successive defeats avoided, Moyes may be able to spend some time reshaping his squad.

The Scot has privately conceded up to 10 players may have to be moved on, with out-of-favour midfielder Anderson and defender Fabio set to be among the first to leave.

Rio Ferdinand and Alexander Buttner will surely not last beyond the summer, while Nani, Patrice Evra and even skipper Nemanja Vidic are on shaky ground as Moyes looks to build a team in his own vision capable of challenging for major honours, something patently beyond them this season.

Others have work to do if they are to salvage their United careers, among them Kagawa who, after a series of below-par displays, excelled in the second half against Swansea once he was switched into the central position he craves.

"He does relish being in there and he was fantastic in the second half," said Fletcher.

"He linked the play and was always available for me and Michael (Carrick) when we were on the ball. He receives the ball so well on the half-turn, was looking to create and make things happen.

"He will take great confidence from that. He is a great player and he is a big part of Manchester United."

It cannot have gone unnoticed either that Welbeck is flourishing in a central position, something that tends to be denied him when Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are fit.

Given Sir Alex Ferguson had clearly resolved to move Rooney on last summer, something Moyes worked so hard to prevent, the question remains whether it would, in fact, be a long-term benefit for one of the big names to eventually leave.

Certainly there can be little doubt over Welbeck's present contribution, which now extends to six goals in nine games.

"It is a big improvement on last season," said Welbeck, who only found the net on two occasions last term.

"I have said it plenty of times, last season I was playing on the left wing, which is not really where I want to be.

"I am happy to do it for the team but if you put any striker out there it would be hard to judge them in terms of goalscoring."

Though the scrutiny may not be quite as intense, Swansea boss Michael Laudrup has his own troubles, with his side slipping ever closer to the drop zone after picking up just one point from their last five games.

In truth, the visitors never looked like repeating their historic FA Cup win of six days earlier.

"We went into this game motivated, exactly the same as the first one," said Laudrup.

"But we are very limited in numbers right now and if the characteristics in midfield that worked very well the other day were to be more complete, we should have threatened them more."

PA

News
i100
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsAll just to promote a new casino
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband