Adnan Januzaj wants his football to do the talking for Sunderland – as he looks to prove wrong those people who have questioned him in recent years.
Januzaj’s arrival was a real coup for David Moyes, as Sunderland swooped to capture the Belgian playmaker on a season-long loan from Manchester United.
The confident 21-year-old burst onto the scene two years ago – on the back of an outstanding performance against Sunderland – and he was hailed as the next great United legend in the making.
But his career has since stalled, including a disappointing loan spell last season at German giants Borussia Dortmund.
Januzaj, though, is now more determined than ever to prove wrong those doubters who have questioned his attitude and ability.
The winger has shown glimpses of his potential in his four Sunderland appearances so far – including a stunning winning goal against Shrewsbury Town in the EFL Cup.
Januzaj said: “It is not to re-establish myself, it is just to prove to some of the people that they were wrong (about me).
“I will work hard to show they were wrong over the past few years.
“Part of my mentality is to never give up, even if something goes a bit wrong you always have to keep working – that is what I have been doing.
“Now I have the chance to prove myself again.”
He added: “I spoke with the manager and he asked me if I wanted to come here, I said that I wanted to play football.
“He gave me the opportunity to do that. I am really thankful for that.
“He is building a very good team here.
“It is still early for him to show people what he can do, he needs time to adapt to the club, of course.
“But I think he is doing very, very well and all of the players that have been signed are all very good players.”
A fresh start on Wearside represents an excellent opportunity for Januzaj to get a full season of regular Premier League football under his belt as he looks to kick-start his career.
He added: “For two years I didn’t have many chances to play but I came here to Sunderland to play games and to prove people that they were wrong.
“I never give up and I always love to play football. I am happy to be where I am and playing games.
“I didn’t have much game time, it was difficult and I have played three games now for Sunderland and in three games I have built my fitness back slowly.
“Now I need to kick-on.”
Brussels-born Januzaj has spent the past week training at the Academy of Light with the rest of those squad members not called up to international duty.
The winger, who has six caps for his country, insists his immediate focus is purely on doing the business for Moyes and Sunderland.
When asked if he had an international recall in mind, he said: “No, I’m not really discussing that.
“I am more concentrated on Sunderland football club for the moment.”