Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed why Adnan Januzaj struggled to shine during his four-month loan spell from Manchester United earlier this season.
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder moved to Signal Iduna Park at the end of August but could not break into BVB’s first team picture, making just six substitute appearances in the Bundesliga, plus three starts in Europe.
Belgium international Januzaj is now back under Louis van Gaal’s tutelage at Old Trafford, briefly appearing in the Red Devils’ recent defeat to Southampton.
And Tuchel has revealed that part of the reason behind the youngster’s failure to settle in the German top flight was a failure to totally embrace his temporary surroundings.
“A part of him was always still in Manchester and we just couldn’t help him cut this umbilical cord,” Tuchel says in the March 2016 issue of FourFourTwo. “He didn’t wholly embrace Borussia. He always compared everything with how it had been at United.”
After a disastrous Bundesliga campaign that called time on Jurgen Klopp’s tenure at the club, Dortmund have bounced back in 2015/16 under their highly rated new boss, winning 14 of their 19 league matches to reestablish themselves as the only realistic challenger to behemoths Bayern Munich.
Die Schwarzgelben are also targeting German Cup and Europa League glory this term but former Mainz manager Tuchel called for a clean slate going into the second half of the season, which has begun with two league wins out of two.
“What we must do is detach ourselves from all the plaudits that were, and still are, showered upon us,” he says. “We still keep hearing how great the first half of the season was. This first half is over. In sports, nothing is older than a game that has been played. Now we have to find the right attitude and validate what we have previously done by doing it all over again. If we keep working hard, if we find the right attitude and if we focus on what we want to achieve, then a lot is possible for this team.”
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