Adnan Januzaj’s future at club and country will be decided by his father, it has been claimed.
Manchester United starlet Januzaj is currently weighing up an offer of a new contract from the Barclays Premier League champions while also deciding whether to accept an invitation to play for the Belgian national side.
Januzaj knows there is interest in him from Barcelona, Juventus and even Manchester City and could play for Albania due to his blood line.
Premature? Adnan Januzaj has already attracted the top European clubs after just one standout performance
However, his former youth coach at formative club Anderlecht has revealed that Januzaj’s father is the most decisive influence.
Jean Kindermann said: 'When he was young, his father always forbade him from going to the national youth teams.
'He could have played many times for the national under-15s or under-16s but his father focused only on education and Anderlecht.'
Januzaj turned down another invitation from Belgium only yesterday and there has even been talk of him qualifying to play for England on grounds of residency.
Former Belgian goalkeeper Nico Vaesen, now an agent, told the BBC: 'He is a very gifted footballer and Manchester United noticed that at an early age.
'He is well looked after by his father, who took the family over to Manchester with him when Adnan moved to United. It will be his father who has a big say on what country Adnan will end up playing for.'
Januzaj spent six years at Anderlecht before United paid in the region of £300,000 to bring him to England. He was on the bench for Sir Alex Ferguson’s final United game last season but has been given his head by new manager David Moyes, rewarding his coach’s faith with two stunning goals in last weekend’s win at Sunderland.
'He made a big impression - such a talent you don't see every year,' added Kinderman.
'He stood out because of his technical skills, his protection of the ball, the fact that he is always standing up, that he has a fantastic sense of the game.
'He was physically very, very small when we lost him three seasons ago. Now I see a real athlete - when he left here he was a young boy.'
United midfielder Michael Carrick has no doubt there is a lot swirling around Januzaj, but is confident conditions are right for him to cope.
The 32-year-old England international told the Manchester Evening News: 'It is a lot for a young lad to take to come in like that. The attention he is going to get now will be a lot.
'He is young, he is going to learn along the way and learn fast. I am sure he will be fine.
'Young lads can come in and change. Their life can change overnight and the expectations and pressures change. There are more responsibilities.
'But he is at the right place and he has a good attitude. He is going to stay on the right lines.
'I and the other experienced players are there to set an example and do the right things.'
Youngster: Januzaj has only featured in a handful of games so far this season
Influence: It is likely the 18-year-old's father will have a big say in where Januzaj ends up... and which country he represents at international level
Carrick has emphasised that the very fact United boss David Moyes opted to give Januzaj his full debut meant the rest of the team had no qualms about his readiness for it, even before he netted the second-half brace at the Stadium of Light that steered the Red Devils to their come-from-behind victory.
'You don’t want to heap too much praise on him and put pressure on him because he is so young,' Carrick said.
'He will probably have good days and he will have not so good days because he is learning the game.
'But at Sunderland he was top drawer. He carried on what he has been doing in training since we got back from pre-season.
'He is good enough. He may be aged 18 but he’s not a kid as a player. He is a top player. He is in the team so he is one of us. It doesn’t really matter how old you are or how many games you have played.
'The boss picked him so we trust him. There are bits of advice and bits of help that people like myself can pass on. I told him at half-time at Sunderland to get in the box a bit more - so that helped, didn’t it!
'In terms of debuts, he has scored two and we have won 2-1 so what can you say about that?
'In some ways he won us the game. His performance was good. He has everything sat there for him to prosper and fulfil his potential.
'He is at the right club. He has the right players around him who are willing to help him and obviously the right manager. He has the ability. As long as he keeps along the right lines and does the right things he has got a great chance of having one of the best careers.'