Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has responded to claims made by Adnan Januzaj that he failed to develop the club’s young players during his time in charge.
The Dutchman was in the Old Trafford hotseat for 103 games between July 2014 and May 2016. He secured a top four finish in his first year and won an FA Cup in his final season before being sacked and replaced by Jose Mourinho.
He gave opportunities to the likes of Marcus Rashford, Andreas Pereira and Timothy Fosu-Mensah in that time. However, his treatment of young players recently came under attack.
Januzaj was seen as a bright young talent having debuted under David Moyes in 2013, but was offered limited game time by van Gaal. He made just 18 Premier League outings in 2014-2015, only seven of them coming as a starter.
He was the loaned to Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland before leaving permanently in 2017 to join current club Real Sociedad, who the Red Devils take on in the Europa League on Thursday.
And ahead of that tie, the Belgian has claimed van Gaal ruined his chances of a career with United.
Now 26, Januzaj believes van Gaal showed him no love and criticised him for mistakes rather than attempting to teach him how to improve.
He also claimed he gave other youngsters, such as Memphis Depay, similar treatment.
Van Gaal points to career record
But Van Gaal has quickly snapped back, making it clear he disagrees with Januzaj’s comments.
“I have absolutely no need to defend myself against so much injustice!” he told the Athletic (via the Manchester Evening News).
“The self-image of players leaves the wishes! And my career as a coach/manager shows just how many young players could take their chances under my leadership!”
Van Gaal coached hometown club Ajax, famed for their esteemed academy, during his managerial career.
He also led Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar, Bayern Munich and the Netherlands. But United proved to be his last job as he retired in 2019.