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."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ow are people still backing Arsenal for the title? It's like you're predicting the tide not to come in; Arsenal will finish third or fourth and make the quarter final of the Champions League. It was ever thus.

thefuldutch
F365's Season Predictions

N

othing screams 'Panic!!' when your new manager brings Fellaini on as a sub for your star signing of the summer and within 5 minutes you concede the winner. I know it is only the first game in but I would seriously be sh1**ng myself I was a Man Utd supporter. This has the potential of being very nasty indeed.

stevemelbourne
Now Are You Nervous, Louis?

I

n the words of Pete Townsend, meet the new boss, the same as the old boss. Though I would comment that it's 3 more points than we picked up in the same fixture last year, so that's a 100% improvement.

uncle monty
No Sign That Liverpool Will Lessen Attacking Intent

Footer 365

Premier League: Vincent Kompany waiting to see how Liverpool cope with increased demands

Vincent Kompany feels Liverpool will find the Premier League ‘a different competition’ once the Champions League starts.

Transfer News: Stoke had agreed fees for Nathan Redmond and Oussama Assaidi

Stoke chairman Peter Coates has confirmed the club met the asking prices for Nathan Redmond and Oussama Assaidi.

Transfer News: Valeri Bojinov reportedly due to talk to West Ham about Premier League return

Former Manchester City striker Valeri Bojinov has travelled to England amid reports he will hold talks with West Ham.

Mail Box

Dear Brendan, Please Sign Di Maria

That's the request to Brendan Rodgers in the mailbox, and not just because it would annoy Man United fans. Plus, more thoughts on why Arsenal didn't want Cescy back...

Man United Fans Still Pining For Mourinho

The morning mailbox ponders where United might be now had the club appointed Jose Mourinho last season, while Chelsea fans are getting very excited...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property