The 18-year-old will be hoping to emulate team-mate Wayne Rooney, who won the award in 2002, but his presence is something of a surprise given that he has only played a handful of games for the United first team.
Januzaj was born in Belgium but has yet to choose which country to represent internationally - he is currently ineligible for England.
Although not British, he is eligible for the BBC award as he is resident in and plays in the UK and his main achievements were in this country and not for a national team.
Januzaj has only played for United's first team for 537 minutes and has arguably achieved a lot less than many of the other individuals on the shortlist in his sport.
Januzaj is up against athletes Dina Asher-Smith and Jess Judd, golfer Charley Hull, shooting's Amber Hill, swimmer James Guy, paralympic swimmer Amy Marren, weightlifter Rebekah Tiler, wheelchair racer Isaac Towers and canoe slalom's Kimberley Woods.
Asher-Smith, at 17, became the second youngest female to win a medal at the world athletics championships when she helped Great Britain's women secure bronze in the 4x100m relay.
Charley Hull, aged 17, became the youngest-ever player to appear for either Europe or the United States in golf's Solheim Cup, while another record-breaker shortlisted is shooting's Amber Hill, who was just 15 when she became the youngest-ever winner of a senior World Cup in her sport.
The BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award is awarded to the outstanding young sportsperson of the year, who is aged 17 or under on 1 January 2013. Previous winners include Ellie Simmonds, Wayne Rooney, Tom Daley and Andy Murray.