Hull v Manchester United: Adnan Januzaj following route of Cristiano Ronaldo
The youngster has burst onto the scene this season
Tuesday 24 December 2013
Adnan Januzaj seems to be following the Cristiano Ronaldo route to stardom at Manchester United.
Just like Ronaldo, Januzaj has burst onto the first-team scene at the age of 18 with a series of dazzling performances.
As with the Portugal superstar, the teenager has become an instant favourite of the Old Trafford faithful.
And, just as Sir Alex Ferguson had to do with Ronaldo, so David Moyes has needed to step in and deliver some words of advice to try and curb a tendency to go down too easily.
Yet, as with Ronaldo, Moyes offers a stern defence of a player who has twice been booked for diving, the latest card arriving against West Ham on Saturday, and has now become, on a game for game average, the most fouled player in the Premier League.
"I can only say what I see," said Moyes.
"In the previous games he has been getting kicked from pillar to post and the referees have been quite happy to let that go.
"They have not been too bothered about doing anything about it.
"The boy was wrong with what happened on Saturday and we have told him about it. But we all make one or two mistakes and the boy will learn as he gets older.
"The thing is, when you are getting kicked all the time and folk are lunging into tackles into you, sometimes you have to jump out of the way or you are going to get hurt.
"That is what I continually say. I just hope it doesn't take a sore one before people start doing something about it."
A decade ago, Ferguson was saying very similar things about Ronaldo.
And while Moyes fought shy of comparing the two, it is an obvious reference point for what could be achieved by Januzaj.
"Some people need to realise this is a young talent," said Moyes. "At the moment they are kicking him but it is right, they also kicked Ronaldo and look at the player he went on to be.
"Adnan will also go on to become a great player in time.
"At the moment the job is to make sure he is able to play."
With Robin van Persie almost certain to miss out with a thigh injury and Danny Welbeck a doubt due to the bang on the knee that forced him out of Saturday's win over West Ham, Moyes is likely to be relying on Januzaj to some extent at Hull on Boxing Day.
For Hull's record of conceding just three goals on home soil this term is the best in the Premier League, with only Manchester City even getting close.
"It is a great record," said Moyes.
"In this league you have either got to score plenty of goals or not concede them, it is one or the other.
"As far as Steve Bruce is concerned, it means he has a good base and his team are hard to beat.
"It gives him a platform to play off and means he can hope the odd goal wins him matches.
"It will be a tough game that's for sure but we have got ourselves on a winning run and hopefully we can continue that."
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