I was in the theatre watching Blood Brothers with my family when the news broke late on deadline day that Manchester United had agreed a deal worth £27.5M to sign Marouane Fellaini. The Gentleman sat next to me – who was obviously a United fan given the way he was watching my phone – asked me whether we had signed anyone, and when I broke the news that we’d signed Fellaini, he shook his head and turned to watch the final rendition of ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’ sung by by Mrs Johnstone. The song seemed apt.
Marouane has completed his first season with the current Champions, and whilst he has out lasted one of the few men that believed in his credentials, he has been largely underwhelming, particularly in both games against City where Yaya Toure made him look so small and weak that only his afro and his lengthy legs made him noticeable at all. With Moyes gone – and seemingly his hopes of playing regularly in the first team given the omission from Giggs’ first squad against Norwich – it seems as though the Belgian might need to move on in order continue his development.
To be fair to him (as not all have been), Fellaini is a unique player who can adapt to a variety of positions, and has, at times, played relatively well. He rotated possession well away at West Ham, and I feel like that performance went slightly under the radar because of Rooney’s spectacular goal. The problem remains however that Marouane Fellaini does not fit the style of Manchester United, particularly now the 9 months and 22 days of David Moyes’ reign has come to and end.
Just like Moyes, I feel as though Fellaini’s time at United should terminate after a season in which he has failed to impress or indeed live up to his hefty price tag. And whilst it’s not necessarily about the price tag – thanks Jessie J – and more about performances, in the big games, where we needed an energetic player to break up the oppositions play, Fellaini has quite simply not delivered.
To put it harshly, getting rid of Fellaini might be easier said than done, and recuperating even half of the money we paid for him would be a difficult task, but I can see Fellaini playing in a team like Newcastle or Fulham and being a roaring success. His ability to maintain possession and his big physique make him and attractive proposition, but his lack of killer instinct and the shortage of passion that he shows means I can’t see him ever being the midfield maestro that United so badly need.
I think it was a gamble worth taking in signing Marouane Fellaini, but, in a scenario similar to the one with Moyes, he must leave in order to prolong his footballing career. Where will he go? – That depends on where Moyes ends up, as I feel as though the belief David showed in the Belgian means he’ll probably make a move again in the future.