There was a moment against Sunderland when Adnan Januzaj proved he could be a serious, big-game player.
United had been huffing and puffing against the Black Cats and were in danger of slumping to a fourth unedifying Premier League defeat already this season.
Calm as you like, the youngster capitalised on an opportunity to sweep in the equaliser. Instead of bursting into the unbridled celebration that could be expected, he simply retrieved the ball and made for the centre spot, eager to restart the game in search of United’s much-needed winner.
When he did score the goal that put the stuttering Red Devils in the lead, it was a different story however. Januzaj’s stellar volley deserved the celebration that he and his excited team-mates lavished upon it.
They knew that the context had changed and it was okay to revel in their hard-earned lead.
United have some player on their hands, with more than a passing likeness to Kaka in his prime.
It will therefor come as no surprise that after his weekend heroics, the English champions are moving to tie Januzaj down to a longer contract.
The 18-year-old’s current deal expires next year and a host of clubs from across Europe are reportedly keeping tabs on him.
His father has claimed that Juventus, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are all keen to sign him, while his agent says that after Alex Ferguson’s departure, the contract extension talks that had been ongoing since last season have stalled.
However, fearful of losing Januzaj in the same way they did Paul Pogba, United are keen to expedite the deal negotiations.
Meanwhile, it seems that Januzaj is set for a stay in the United first-team, provided his still developing body can survive the rigours of the EPL.
"I would probably have put him in the team three or four weeks ago,” manager David Moyes said.
“There were a couple of games when I was going to start him. I just felt that until we got a bit of momentum into our play, I thought we had to wait."