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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that Adnan Januzaj, who was recently recalled midway through his loan spell with Borussia Dortmund, could feature for the Red Devils U21 side in a bid to prove his fitness ahead of his return to first-team action. The Belgian joined the Bundesliga club four games into the Premier League season after he was deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford. The United reserves take on the Reading U21 side at Adams Park on 11 January.
The 22-year-old midfielder became the latest addition to United's first-team squad as the Dutch manager looks to add more depth to his team ahead of the second half of the season, which will see them take part in three competitions. Januzaj had a difficult spell in the Bundesliga, finding it difficult to break into the Dortmund first-team under new manager Tomas Tuchel. He failed to start a single league game for the Bundesliga title chasing club, with most of his appearances coming from the bench.
The Belgium international has played full 90 minutes on two occasions during his stay at the Westfalenstadion and Van Gaal feels that games with the U21 team will help him get fitter before joining the senior squad for the rest of the season. The former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager is hoping that Januzaj can prove his potentials, but admitted that the player's decision to move to Dortmund was a mistake.
"I hope he can show his talent this year for Manchester United," Van Gaal told MUTV when asked about the forward's return to Old Trafford this week.
"I believe in the talent of Adnan Januzaj. I have said this previously. I also previewed [foresaw] that it shall be very difficult to play matches in Dortmund and, unfortunately, I was right. Then I think that, if he cannot play there, then he would be better training with us here to show his talent in the first team."
"He has been tested already this morning [Friday] and he didn't play so much [for] 90 minutes, only in the pre-season, so he has to show his fitness in the second team. We have to wait to see that the papers are alright, as they are not at the moment. We have to see if he can play on Monday for the second team. He is fit to play and that is also very good, then he can show his quality," the Dutchman added.