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Belgians eye Januzaj emulation

Manchester United youngsters Andreas Pereira and Charni Ekangamene are hoping to follow in the footsteps of Adnan Januzaj and make David Moyes' starting line-up.

Last Updated: 30/12/13 at 17:25 Post Comment

Andreas Pereira, Marnick Vermil, Charni Ekangamene and Adnan Januzaj: Belgian qu

Andreas Pereira, Marnick Vermil, Charni Ekangamene and Adnan Januzaj: Belgian qu

Belgian-born playmaker Januzaj has stolen the headlines at Old Trafford this season, with the 18-year-old making 13 appearances and scoring three goals in the Premier League.

Witnessing the rise of Januzaj has given compatriots Pereira and Ekangamene inspiration as they pursue their own first-team ambitions.

Pereira, who joined the Old Trafford youth system in 2012, was one of four Belgians to feature in the United reserves' title win last season, before earning the best player award in the Milk Cup.

Now, the 17-year-old is looking to cause selection headaches for first-team manager Moyes.

"I'm hoping to finish this season in the reserve squad, but you never know what happens," he told Het Laatste Nieuws.

"Next year I would like to join the first-team squad in pre-season. That's my objective. If I succeed in it, I'll be happy.

"2013 was a good year for me. I'm performing above expectations as I already got promoted to the Under 21 squad."

Attacking midfielder Pereira was quick to dismiss comparisons with Januzaj, claiming he is ready to forge his own route through the United ranks.

"Some already compare me to my countryman Adnan Januzaj," he added. "A compliment, but I'm not his successor. I'm making my own way."

Experience

Meanwhile, fellow reserve-team midfielder Ekangamene was handed an unexpected call from Moyes' assistant Phil Neville before Christmas, asking him to be prepared for United's trip to Villa Park.

"Two weeks ago I got a message that I had to be ready," he explained in Gazet van Antwerpen.

"They expected me in the players' hotel for the game against Aston Villa. Phil Neville called me and confirmed I was part of the squad.

"Finally, I wasn't on the bench, but it was still a positive experience."

Ekangamene admits it took some time to settle in to life in Manchester following his transfer from Royal Antwerp in 2010 but insists the addition of Januzaj brought comfort and familiarity.

"I had a difficult few months when I joined, but the transfer of Januzaj, a year later, did me well," he said. "We are friends.

"All the stars in the team know me. We eat together and make jokes.

"In the club they compare my playing style with that of Claude Makelele. I'm technically strong, but don't hesitate to kick a ball in the stands, if needed."

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W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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