Adnan Januzaj honoured to wear no.11
Adnan Januzaj says he’s relishing the chance to follow in Ryan Giggs’s footsteps, having been handed the now-retired Manchester United legend’s famous no.11 shirt.
Januzaj inherited Giggs’ squad number this week, just 12 months after making his Reds debut and while he is still a teenager.
The vast majority of Giggs’ 963 appearances came in the no.11 shirt and it will have struck many United fans as odd on Saturday to see anybody but the Welshman charging down the wing with the iconic number on his back.
But Belgium international Januzaj insists he’s not fazed by the weight of expectation the number carries.
“It's a big honour for me and my family and I was very happy to have it given to me,” he told reporters following United’s opening-day defeat to Swansea City.
“Of course [I’ll feel a little pressure] because there was a legend in front of me who had it for 20 years, but I am really happy with that.”
Another Reds legend and former United assistant coach, Phil Neville, is backing Januzaj to shine in the shirt.
Neville took to Twitter following this season's squad number announcement to air his views.
He tweeted: "Januzaj given the no.11 shirt – massive act to follow but one I'm convinced he can handle. He is going to be a great player!"
Adnan was introduced to Saturday’s game much earlier than he would have expected, coming on as a substitute for injured debutant Jesse Lingard.
“I am still a bit short of fitness,” Januzaj admitted, “but everything is coming back. I am working hard to try and get my fitness back.
"It was a very disappointing game. We created some chances but we didn't score. But it’s only the first game of the season. We move on to the next one now.
"The fans were unbelievable, though. They were well behind us and we were happy about that."