David Moyes has admitted he would have liked to ease Marouane Fellaini into the Manchester United first-team slower than he did.

The Belgian international joined United for £27.5m on transfer deadline day, and despite a disrupted pre-season, Fellaini was forced into a prominent role in the Old Trafford midfield from almost his first day at the club.

He's made eight appearances already this season, but has struggled with a wrist injury and a lack of match sharpness.

And Moyes has said he regrets having to thrust Fellaini into first-team action so soon after his arrival.

"I didn't think Marouane started slowly but when I had watched him playing I thought he looked a little bit behind," Moyes said as reported by the Manchester Evening News.

"We had to put him in a bit earlier than I'd have liked. My plan was to put him in much slower and bring him on and give him a chance to settle in but we put him in early because we needed it and I didn't think he was quite ready."

Fellaini started against Real Sociedad in the 0-0 Champions League draw in mid-week but was sent off after receiving in second yellow card in the 90th minute.

But Moyes was pleased with the Belgian international's contribution during the match.

"I actually thought he played well in Sociedad," Moyes continued. "We could have taken him off after the first booking but the referee was very close to the incident so he must have got it right."

United go head-to-head with Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, and come up against Mesut Özil, the Gunners' big summer recruit who has sparkled upon arrival in the Premier League.

Moyes went on to reveal that United actually considered a move for the Germany international, but the club felt they already had good options in Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa.

Manchester United