The Belgium-born midfielder made an emphatic Premier League debut this weekend but is odds-on to represent Albania on the international stageScoring twice to ensure your side come from behind to secure a Premier League win after back-to-back losses is a fantastic debut by anyone's standards, but now the questions begin over which country 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj will choose to represent.
The youngster was born in Belgium to Kosovar-Albanian parents and it appears that the Manchester United man is eligible to play for a number of nations in the future, with Paddy Power opening a book on which of those countries he will represent.
Although Belgium are widely tipped to be one of the major forces at the 2014 World Cup and beyond thanks to a number of impressive players coming through their ranks, they are only second favourites to be Januzaj's nation of choice, priced at 11/4 (3.75).
Those odds could be attributed to the fact that David Moyes revealed the player has previously turned down the opportunity to play for the Belgium Under-18 squad, with suggestions that he would prefer to play for Albania. They are the current market leaders priced at 4/11 (1.36) by the Irish bookmakers.
A Paddy Power spokesman said, "Januzaj is already a national hero [in Albania], so it’s no surprise that they are the favourites to secure his services. However, the prospect of playing at the World Cup could be enough to turn his head, with Belgium, England, and Turkey all clamouring for him.” The teenager is quoted at 15/8 (2.88) to play a part in any match at the World Cup finals in 2014.
Roy Hodgson spoke about England's enquiry to Manchester United about Januzaj's status, with a view to the player representing the Three Lions in the future.
That is an eventuality that could made possible thanks to the fact that the youngster could become a home-grown product in the future thanks to the amount of time he has spent in the academy at Manchester United since his move from Anderlecht in 2011. However, that eventually is priced at a lengthy 14/1 (15.0) quote by Paddy Power.
The problem with this route is that such a move would go against the fact that Football Associations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales agreed to opt out of the FIFA residency rule that would allow Januzaj to represent the Three Lions in 2018.
Furthermore, with the player announcing himself in such an emphatic way and with so many other options open to him on a more immediate timescale, it seems somewhat unlikely that he will not have been capped by another country by the time he is even eligible to play for England.
Paddy Power also have 10/1 (11.0) available on "Any Other Nation" which could encase several other nations such as Croatia and Serbia due to the disputed status of Kosovo.
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Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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