herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

'i will learn from giggs'

United winger Januzaj listens to wise words from 'Godfather' as he seeks to fill iconic No 11 shirt at Old Trafford

Adnan Januzaj is serving an apprenticeship at Manchester United under Ryan Giggs and is aiming to do justice to the Number 11 shirt betowed on him by the club at the start of the season.

Januzaj insists it was an honour to inherit the iconic jersey from Giggs, who he describes as his "godfather."

Giggs hung up his boots in May and almost immediately stated his wish for somebody else to accept his famous jersey.

That person was Januzaj, who was proud to accept the honour when approached in the summer and did not require a moment's consideration.

"I was really happy to get the number of such a legend and it was a really big deal for me," Januzaj said.

"I went to the office and they asked me if I wanted the shirt. I wasn't going to say no! Straight away I said 'of course' and I didn't have to think about it. It was a 'yes' straight away.

"It feels different," the 19-year-old continued. "Things have changed because it is a big responsibility to wear the no.11 shirt and having the number of a legend is really big. Ryan has helped me a lot and is like a godfather.

"He has told me to work hard on the training pitch and the rest is more personal. We talk about football a lot."

Although Januzaj only played with Giggs for a single season, the fledgling Belgian believes 12 months was ample time to tap into the Welshman's knowledge and expertise.

"I learned a lot from him and the experience was great. He was such a good player to watch and is my favourite player of all time at United. Could I imagine playing at 40? Of course, if I am still fit. You never lose your quality, that's something I learned from him."

Meanwhile, United boss Louis van Gaal is hoping to have striker Radamel Falcao fit in time for Sunday's derby clash with Manchester City at Eastlands.

The Colombian picked up a knock in training and missed last Sunday's Premier League draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford.

"Falcao took a kick in training on Thursday and couldn't play because of that," van Gaal said.

"We'll have to wait and see, but I don't think the injury is too bad, Sunday's match came too soon for him."

There was, however, less positive news for Phil Jones, who was forced to miss the Chelsea match with shin splints.

The boss added: "Jones has shin splints, so we'll have to wait and see because it's not too easy to recover from."

Fresh from scoring his first goal for the club in the recent draw with West Brom, Marouane Fellaini produced another impressive performance in the centre of midfield to help United claim a draw against Chelsea, earning the praise of team-mate Robin van Persie.

"He played fantastically," said Van Persie, who scored a 94th minute leveller at Old Trafford. "Defensively, on Cesc Fabregas, he did a great job. He is strong on the ball, he runs with it and is also strong in the air. I think he played a great match."

Prior to Sunday's game, Fellaini recalled his maiden strike at The Hawthorns and the emotions it inspired. "I ran straight to United's fans when it went in," he told United Uncovered.

"I was delighted and wanted to celebrate with them."

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