DAVID MOYES has admitted Adnan Januzaj was back in a Sunderland shirt out of necessity rather than choice at Arsenal on Monday.
Moyes still rates Januzaj highly and thinks the Belgian international has plenty of ability and time on his side to become a success story.
But the 22-year-old forward has struggled on Wearside and that followed on from an unsuccessful stint at Borussia Dortmund last year.
Moyes, who was the manager who gave him his chance at Manchester United, thinks Januzaj has “bigger fish to fry” rather than stay with Sunderland in the Championship next season.
But he was still reluctant to play Januzaj in the games building up to his recall at Arsenal knowing he will be heading back to Manchester United at the end of his season long loan.
Injuries, though, dictated he was on the bench at the Emirates and he was introduced as a late substitute to try to save the game, which ultimately ended in a 2-0 defeat.
Moyes explained: “He’s still here. We have had quite a few players who might not be available so there was more than a good chance Adnan had to be in.
“(Before Arsenal) I wanted to try to put out boys who I felt were going to remain at the club but there are other positions where I’ve had to play others.
“I just felt that was the right thing at the time, but I think our numbers were such that Adnan had to be back involved.”
Moyes’ own future remains up in the air because of Sunderland’s dreadful season in the Premier League. Whether he remains on Wearside in the Championship will be determined in a meeting with the club’s owner, Ellis Short, after Sunday’s final game at Chelsea.
He will seek assurances from Short, who is well aware that the many of the Black Cats’ supporters have turned on him.
Moyes said: “I came here knowing exactly what the task was going to be. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen behind the scenes.
“In football you sometimes win games. I have said, I have defended myself, I have had a great win record wherever I have been, and this is the only anomaly. But I have got to say it hasn’t happened for quite a few managers, it has been that way for quite a while.”
Sunderland are expected to lose striker Jermain Defoe this summer because of a clause in his contract that will allow him to leave for nothing.
Bournemouth are ready to offer him around the £100,000-a-week mark as they look to add his experience in attack to make further progress in their third season in the top-flight.