Playing 80 minutes against Manchester United in the Europa League last week, Adnan Januzaj got to see some of his former teammates.
He came inches from opening the score in the first couple of minutes of the game, but the fixture ultimately ended in a 4-0 loss for Real Sociedad, who now face the near impossible task of winning by five goals at Old Trafford.
While there may be a lack of motivation from some in the La Liga team, the trip back to Manchester will be a special one for Januzaj, who will return to a city where he spent a good six years of his life.
Joining from Anderlecht in 2011, the winger eventually left in 2017, with a couple of loans at Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland in the middle, but he still managed to make 67 appearances in a Manchester United shirt.
Speaking to Real Sociedad TV ahead of the game, he said: “It will feel weird a bit obviously because I spent so many years there. That’s where it all started for me as a footballer. I have great memories in that club, from young years to now. (…) For me, my best memories were when I was in England”.
Having played alongside the likes of Paul Pogba and Robin Van Persie, the player learned a lot from his time in England, and while he didn’t manage to fully breakthrough and become an established member of the first-team, the bond he forged with many there over the years remains.
He explained: “Even today I receive a lot of messages from the fans on social media to come back, but at the end of the day, in my career, maybe I needed that change.
“To go back there, for me is an amazing feeling, you know? Because everybody knows how much I love that club, and for me to step up back at Old Trafford will be something very big”.