Louis van Gaal has issued a defiant response after Adnan Januzaj accused the former Manchester United manager of not giving him enough opportunities.
Januzaj was tipped for greatness after emerging from United’s academy in 2013 but insists he was repeatedly snubbed by Van Gaal and his successor Jose Mourinho.
“I didn’t have the right coach to get me on my level and to push me,” the Belgium international – who now plays for Real Sociedad – told ESPN .
“When Van Gaal came I was playing one game out of six, so it was difficult, and I was like, ‘What am I doing here?’
“At United I didn’t have that many chances, especially when Van Gaal and Mourinho came. When they came there it was more difficult for me because I was a young player.
“I was 18 or 19 and I just had to accept things. Before that I had people who believed in me like [Sir Alex] Ferguson. If he had stayed there longer I think I would have played longer for Manchester United.”
Was Januzaj wasted by Van Gaal? Have your say in the comments.
Responding to Januzaj’s claims, Van Gaal accused his former player of “injustice” and highlighted his own record of developing youth players.
He told The Athletic : “I have absolutely no need to defend myself against so much injustice! The self-image of players leaves the wishes!
“And my career as a coach/manager shows just how many young players could take their chances under my leadership!”
During his decorated managerial career, Van Gaal promoted numerous academy stars to the first team who went on to have huge success.
These players include Clarence Seedorf and Patrick Kluivert at Ajax, Xavi and Andres Iniesta at Barcelona, and Thomas Muller at Bayern Munich.
But he failed to see eye to eye with Januzaj, who went on to leave United for Sociedad in 2017 after loan spells with Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland.
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