Some football experts raised an eyebrow following Manchester United’s signing of ex-Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, as they felt he’d be difficult to accommodate in the current midfield setup of the Premier League champions.
United manager David Moyes, who spent 11 years at Everton, was the man who brought the Belgium international to the Premier League, so he will know exactly how to utilise the player.
So, what are his options with Fellaini?
The 25-year old played the majority of last season in an attacking-midfield position for Everton – scoring 11 goals, and making six assists.
His aerial threat was clear to see, but it’s his talents with the ball at his feet which made him a menace on the pitch.
As expected from a player his size, he holds up the ball superbly and fashions chances for his teammates with consummate ease.
However, the likelihood of him filling that role for Manchester United is slim, with Shinji Kagawa, Tom Cleverley, and even Wayne Rooney more favourable options to play the attacking-midfield position.
Playing in the centre of the park could greatly suit the Belgian as he has a good range of passing, while being even more adept at the tackle.
His aerial presence and strength would mean he’d win most of the battles in midfield and would never allow the side to be overrun.
Playing alongside a great passer of the ball like Michael Carrick could well be the perfect balance for Manchester United.
Fellaini joined Everton as a defensive-midfielder and spent a lot of his early days playing in front of the backline.
His size and stature made him a tricky customer to beat when in one-on-one situations, and his great strength saw very few ever muscle him off the ball.
Should he adopt the role for Manchester United, he would free up central-midfielders Michael Carrick and potentially Tom Cleverley to be more creative in possession
It could well benefit the side – as they have been lacking in penetration in their first few games this season.
Here is what David Moyes said about Fellaini: “Marouane’s not someone you want to play against. He can play behind a main striker, and as a defensive or holding midfield player. He’s comfortable in any position in the middle of the field, which is definitely a position we were short of quality in. He has attributes other players don’t. I’m sure he’ll be a big player for Manchester United.”
Fellaini, on the other hand, said: “I am very happy. I’ve always wanted to come to Manchester United but I played for Everton for five years.
“This is a new chapter for me and I want to win trophies for Manchester United. Football is like this sometimes,” he added.