Fellaini to Manchester United? Why not?

by Naveen Varshan

Originally written/published for: http://mufclatest.com/fellaini-to-manchester-united-why-not/

It is not often you can get a player in the transfer window whose special attributes are chiefly what the team is missing (hoping we sign a creative midfielder). Marouane Fellaini, with his immense physical presence can turn out to be destructive and daunting for the opposition, not just in Premier League but also in Europe. United has lacked that bite and steel in the midfield ever since the Roy Keane era. Fellaini is no Keano, but could just be the answer to our worries.

The general consensus among Manchester United fans is that he is overrated and they are not particularly interested in him. This basically stems from the fact that he has been inconsistent, his lack of discipline on the field and him not being a great passer of the ball. In Carrick, Kagawa, Cleverley and Anderson, we are quite adequate in creative midfielders. If Moyes is going in for a defensive midfielder, don’t see why he would go more than Fellaini considering not many are available for that position. The Big Belgian himself has talked about his desire to play as a deep-lying midfielder, makes him an ideal candidate for our need.

Fellaini on his future:

“David Moyes predicts my future as a defensive midfielder, but due to a lack of offensive power, he plays me up front. In the future I want to play as a six or an eight. From there, I can create danger and score goals

Moreover the balance he will give to the Red Devils line-up will be the key factor here. Looking at his strengths and weaknesses will furnish an idea of why exactly he was earlier mentioned as ‘an ideal candidate for our need’.

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The former Everton man is known for his aerial ability in the middle of the pitch and is also a great asset both offensively and defensively when it comes to set-pieces. Our midfield on the other hand really does not have anyone who can win you headers, and any ball in the air is more or less going to end up in the possession of the opponents (We should be mindful of the fact that we are no Barcelona and tiki-taka is not Moyes style of play). Set-piece conversion plays a crucial role especially knowing the high amount of set-piece chances we create in a match. While defending set-pieces, United at the best have two centre backs who can mark people and win the battle of aerial balls, the rest are just good at clearing the ball out, so a presence like Fellaini can certainly give an extra dimension to the defense.

He is not a creative player, not a skillful passer of the ball and definitely cannot control the game like Scholes or Carrick. But why would you need a player with the ability to control the play when you already have Carrick, Kagawa, (and probably a new signing) to do so. The drawbacks of these players are the advantages of Fellaini. He can hassle, dispossess the opponents and wear down the opposition to submission. Comparing him to Yaya Toure right now does not make sense but under Moyes, he could just develop to be the next Toure in two years time. Most Red Devils will say yes to Toure if we ever get a chance to sign him, and that is because everyone is aware of the need for a strong, bullish and warrior like midfielder in the line-up. In Fellaini, you get a strong player with great aerial ability, ball-winner, workhorse and positively a menacing presence in the middle of the field. His job will be simple; protect the defense, clear the ball and fend off any threat to the attackers, more of a cleanup act. And let the vision and flair of Kagawa, Carrick, Rooney and the rest to take over and create magic.

However, Kevin Strootman is one the fans would prefer though not many have seen him play yet. It is also looking highly unlikely that he will be joining the Moyes’ boys this summer, with no interest shown from the Champions so far. Playing Phil Jones in midfield is not what fans want to see or rather even Jones himself. Fellaini is not such a bad option after all, at twenty-five years of age working under a manager who knows him pretty well, will only improve him as a player and a person. The two fixtures against City every season will be significant in the title race and do you think Carrick and Cleverley (or Thiago hopefully) can get through the wall of Toure and Fernandinho, they could but will be one hell of a task. Or are you going to believe that these players can stop players like Xavi, Ronaldo, Messi, Mata, Ribery, Iniesta, Bale and the list goes on. No one can actually stop them but a player like Fellaini on his best day can be very intimidating and can slow down their whole game and in turn liberate our attack to blossom.

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