Adnan Januzaj Manchester United

“You can’t win anything with kids,” were the words of Alan Hansen in 1995 and, while experience is vital in the world of football, much of the onus in the modern game is being placed on the development of youth.

The latest youngster to steal the limelight is Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj, who scored twice on his full Premier League debut at the weekend.

The 18-year-old secured a rating of 9.2 in United’s 2-1 win against Sunderland on Saturday to ease the pressure that had been building on manager David Moyes.

Following an impressive pre-season with the defending champions, there had been numerous calls for the Scot to start Januzaj after an underwhelming team display in the 2-1 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion the previous weekend.

His two goals not only earned United the much needed three points to provide a confidence boost heading into the international break, but ensured that Januzaj was awarded the man of the match as a result.

To many, this came as little surprise. The former Anderlecht ace completed five successful dribbles during Saturday’s victory at the Stadium of Light, more than any other player who featured in the encounter.

Impressively, all five of those came in the first half when United were underperforming, denoting that while his team-mates churned out disappointing performances, Januzaj strived to provide the attacking impetus to Moyes’ side during a disenchanting 45 minutes.

Being fouled three times in the encounter indicates how Sunderland targeted the Belgian, viewing him as the strong point in the United attack. They aimed to disrupt his impact, albeit to little effect.

With three appearances to his name, two of which have come from the bench, the winger has impressed during his 145 minutes of Premier League action this term. As a result, he has garnered an average rating of 7.47, higher than any other United player.

His man of the match display against Sunderland massively contributed to that, but he’s turning out notable performances, of that there is no doubt.

Averaging three shots per game this season – only striker Robin van Persie (3.7) is averaging more – is a clear indication he is providing a further offensive threat from the wing, more so than the likes of Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia.

His average 3.3 dribbles per game is bettered only by Nani (4.3) and the duo’s directness on the wing will further benefit the club as they aim to defend their Premier League crown.

While a fair amount of pressure has been heaped on the teenager already, the youngster has shown he’s more than capable of shouldering the responsibility.

Supporters are understandably excited about the winger’s breakthrough and following the disappointing departure of Paul Pogba, Januzaj is perhaps the most prodigious talent to have plied his trade at Old Trafford in recent years.

With further first-term football, he may well fulfill his potential and produce further match winning performances, much like the one against Sunderland on Saturday.