Adnan Januzaj
Adnan Januzaj scored four goals in 27 Premier League appearances last seasonReuters

Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj has claimed he is working hard to prove to manager Louis van Gaal that he deserves a place in his starting line-up.

After a difficult start to life under the new boss, the Belgium international tried to catch his attention during the Under-21 Premier League match on Monday, scoring a hat-trick to lead his site to a 4-0 victory over Sunderland.

"I tried to do my best. Obviously, even if it's reserves level, I always have to show myself and improve. I got a hat-trick but I think I worked hard defensively as well and these are the kind of things I have to do now and at first-team level," Januzaj said to Manchester United official website.

"Of course, I played a lot of games last season and I'm trying to impress the manager once again and get games again this year as well."

The 19-year-old scored four goals in 27 Premier League appearances last term, being one of the few bright spots in United's disappointing campaign under David Moyes.

However after the summer arrivals of Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera, following the addition of Juan Mata in January, Januzaj has seen his playing time restricted in the new campaign.

The Belgian youngster has played in each of United's four league games this season but is yet to make a starting appearance for the new boss.

Nevertheless, when asked whether he dropped down to the Under 21 team on Monday just to impress van Gaal, he said: "I think I do it myself.

"I don't for it for any other people but for myself. I look after my [performance]. Even if I have to play Under-18s, I have to do it and try to improve every time I play."

Van Gaal has been credited during his long career with fostering a battery of young talents including Andres Iniesta or Thomas Muller, and he has already given both Tyler Blackett and Jesse Lingard their debuts at Old Trafford during this season.

Following the departure of Shinji Kagawa, the versatile Januzaj may provide cover for Mata, Herrera and Di Maria in van Gaal's new 4-4-2 diamond formation.