Published on October 30th, 2013 | by soccersweep0
Manchester United: Better than Ronaldo at 18
Even the most extreme tabloids would think twice before likening a player to the best one to come through the doors at Old Trafford since George Best.
Cristiano Ronaldo turned out to be the best case scenario at Manchester United. From the moment he entered the fray against Bolton as a 17 year old he looked as if he could become a world star.
But, as we have found out with players like Nani, potential and realisation are two very separate things.
But Ronaldo did develop all that potential to become a goal scoring sensation. He carried Manchester United, a decent team, to trophy after trophy. If he was rested United fans would howl for him to come off the bench and turn things around. He rarely failed to deliver during Manchester United’s most successful period ever.
But Ronaldo took at least two seasons to become a proper player. It’s hard to imagine now, but many thought him little more than a frustrating one-trick pony who went over too easily, during his first couple of years. He was often lambasted by the likes of Roy Keane after making bad decisions and suffering from general inconsistency. Then an FA Cup Final performance to savour launched the Ronaldo we know today.
In that sense, Mancester United already have a better player in Adnan Januzaj. The brilliant youngster hasn’t got Ronaldo’s pace and doesn’t look like he will ever develop the same physique.
But, in terms of composure, final ball and overall impact on a game, Januzaj is way ahead of Ronaldo at this stage in his career. Where Ronaldo was often profligate at 18, Januzaj looks like the most mature player on the park.
On Tuesday he orchestrated the battering of Norwich. We counted one misplaced pass from the teenager all evening. Other than that he was a blur of speed, precision and football intelligence. He beat three men and almost scored one of the goals of the season in the first half.
He set up attacks time and again with superb passing ability – his colleagues rarely had to break stride to receive a pass from the young master.
Januzaj is, undoubtedly, the best player to come through since Ronaldo started making waves back in 2006. Despite the inconsistent start Manchester United fans have something very special to get excited about. They will be hugely thankful that he has finally signed a 5 year contract at Manchester United because this kid has the world at his feet and is already utterly undroppable.
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