By Tom Bartlett
REUTERS - Adnan Januzaj's eye-catching first Premier League start for Manchester United in their 2-1 win at Sunderland on Saturday impressed manager David Moyes but appeared not enough to send him rushing to lock the 18-year-old in to a new long-term deal.
Januzaj's brace at the Stadium of Light was a statement of his undeniable potential with Moyes comparing his quality to that of a young Wayne Rooney, a player he also handed a first start in England's top flight to while at Everton.
The Brussels-born Januzaj joined Manchester United from Belgium club Anderlecht in 2011 but has featured little for United's first team and British media reports have suggested he was almost sent out on loan by Moyes before impressing during this year's pre-season.
Alongside Rooney, United's Dutch striker Robin van Persie is not easily overshadowed but Januzaj did exactly that at Sunderland, displaying calmness on the ball and deadly accuracy with both feet to earn his side a much-needed victory.
A couple of top European clubs are said to be interested in Januzaj but Moyes believes the lure of being a star at Manchester United would be enough to keep him.
"I'm not too worried about that because I think every young boy wants to play for Manchester United," Moyes told Sky Sports.
"I've always thought that. If I was a young player I don't see anywhere else better than Manchester United to go.
"He's going to be a great talent, a special talent. He hit goals, he has ability on the ball...but we'll keep his feet on the ground here, we won't let him get ahead of himself."
Born in Belgium to Kosovan-Albanian parents and with links to Turkey and Serbia, Januzaj is eligible for a number of countries so he is a young man with club and country decisions ahead of him.
Januzaj's goal-scoring performance led former United goal-keeper Peter Schmeichel to label him "something special" while midfielder Michael Carrick believes his young team mate can be "anything he wants to be."
"He's (Januzaj) done it on the big stage now," Carrick was quoted as saying on Manchester United's website (www.manutd.com).
"He's got so much ability, he's got a great attitude too. He can be anything he wants to be. He's that good, he's got that chance.
"It's just the start for him. I'm sure he's not going to get carried away with it. But his two finishes... the first was on his weaker foot, you would think. His second one was just a terrific volley.
"We've got a lot to thank him for."
(Writing by Tom Bartlett, Editing by Martyn Herman)