David Moyes was handed a return to the English Premier League by Ellis Short, who has been an admirer of the Scot for a long time. Short had initially sounded out the Moyes when Dick Advocaat planned to retire in May 2015. Moyes resisted out of a debt of loyalty to Jokin Aperribay, the Real Sociedad president who went to great lengths to convince him to start anew in Spain after the misery of Manchester United.
He was again approached by Short in October after Advocaat offered to resign. But Moyes was determined to recover from a faltering start at Real Sociedad and avoid a second failure in such quick succession. But Short turned to Big Sam in a fortnight and Moyes faced the ignominy of a second dismissal in a span of 19 months.
Both of them finally meet and in similar treacherous circumstances, with Sunderland thirsty for a semblance of stability after another setback and Moyes licking his wounds with his image blemished after disastrous spells at Manchester United and Sociedad.
While the transfer plans and the way ahead would have been planned according to Big Sam’s views, there will be a distinctly varied blueprint with Moyes on board. And as Moyes has clearly stated on his arrival, he will work towards restoring the club’s standing in the league gradually and give the fans an alternative reason to celebrate other than that of a successful relegation dogfight every year.
One of the very first names to have been linked has been that of Adnan Januzaj. The Belgian was one of the very few positive during Moyes’ calamitous 10-month reign at Old Trafford. The Scot handed the youngster more minutes on the pitch and he repaid the manager with enterprising displays which prompted the United faithful to believe he would be the ‘next’ big thing at the club.
Januzaj, who mainly plays on the left wing but can play across the front-line, is predominantly a left-footer and has earned a reputation of being a twinkle-toed dribbler. His swift movement and finesse on the ball caught the Premier league by surprise and he also scored his maiden goal for the club in his very first season in the first team.
Though he has returned from an unsuccessful loan spell at Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United would not be averse to sending him out on loan again. And the fact his former mentor would be aiding his progress at Sunderland will bode well for all the parties involved. While Januzaj has found the going tough after a whirlwind start to senior football he will be eager to get his career back on track and regular game time at Sunderland would be an excellent option for him.
With Sunderland lacking creativity and goals, the invention and trickery of the young Belgian will provide respite to the likes of Defoe. But the youngster still has a long way to go before he is a finished article with his defensive discipline and aerial abilities being criticised along with his need to toughen up to have a chance of surviving in the physical nature of the Premier League.
United will be open to sending him out on loan as they believe he still has a massive role to play in the future and developing in England especially under the tutelage of Moyes would bode well for the player.