Whether it be as a starter or from the bench, Marouane Fellaini has developed into an important player for Manchester United.
His presence instantly makes the Red Devils a more nasty side it’s precisely for that reason why Jose Mourinho has kept him at the club.
He’s not at the level in terms of doggedness as Roy Keane but while Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford do the damage up front, Fellaini is behind them upsetting opponents.
The Belgian has also chipped in with a couple of goals this season.
Fellaini got the nod over Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera for today’s trip to Southampton following Paul Pogba’s hamstring injury but it wasn’t easy going for the 29-year-old.
According to the Manchester Evening News’ Samuel Luckhurst, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones went “ballistic” at Fellaini for not pressing to stop a Southampton cross.
Fellaini's reaction to Long challenge
Fellaini received yet more scorn, this time from fans on Twitter, when he was fouled by Shane Long.
The Republic of Ireland striker stepped on Fellaini’s Achilles - a painful experience indeed - and the Man United player certainly let everyone know how much it hurt, rolling around on the floor seemingly in agony.
Check out the incident, and the reaction on Twitter, below.
Wouldn’t you know it, Fellaini was back up and running around within minutes.
Man United are looking great right now
Lukaku’s first half goal gave Man United the lead and continued the Belgian’s exceptional start to life as a Red Devil.
He’s now scored eight goals in eight appearances since his £75 million move from Everton, reaching that number quicker than Eric Cantona, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
It’s no surprise Gary Neville included Lukaku among his five most impressive Man United players this season.
Along with the Belgium international, Neville gave credit to Antonio Valencia, David de Gea, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.
“Lukaku's settled straight in, scored the goals that United missed last year,” Neville said, per the Independent.
“[De Gea] is the best player in the club by a long way, he really is. They've got some great players but he stands out now as being incredible.
“Antonio Valencia deserves a special mention for the way he's adapted over the last two or three years to becoming a right-back, and not just a right-back, an outstanding right-back.
“I'm a bit sad that the partnership between Pogba and Matic has been broken. That was developing into something quite good.”