Darren Fletcher has been that guy who everybody feels bad for.
His bowel condition has sidelined him for an extended period of time, and the man that had captained his national team and was truly a quality player had his career stunted by a horrible illness.
The return of the Scottish international has been a blessing for a struggling Manchester United side, and he is almost something of a new signing for David Moyes.
The Red Devil's midfield has been a poor recently.
Tom Cleverly alongside Phil Jones had been the centre of the midfield park for David Moyes for a run of games during the end of the 2013 calendar year, and that pairing lacked creativity, passing ability, and talent.
However, the return of Fletcher has acted as a new world class signing for the Red Devils.
In contrast to Cleverly's side-to-side five yard passing, Fletcher has a multitude of ranges that he can pick a pass from.
He can keep it simple, drill a 50 yard cross-field ball, play an accurate ball right into the forward's feet, and he can play a beautifully weighted defence splitting pass right into the path of an on-running forward.
In other words, Fletcher can do it all.
But it may not be his passing ability that makes him most impressive, in fact, it is his defensive abilities that truly make him world class.
In recent times Manchester United have been criticised for their inability to stop opposition advances.
Creative teams have been able to pass through United's midfield like a knife cuts through warm butter. No United midfielder has been effectively able to disrupt opposition attacks.
But, this will happen no more.
Fletcher has an uncanny ability to anticipate where opposing players want to attack, and he can position himself in a way to either intercept the ball, put in a tackle, or simply slow down the attack and force the player on the ball to go backwards with it.
This type of ability has been missing ever since Owen Hargreaves left the club due to his consistent injury problem, but Fletcher has brought this strength back to a Manchester United midfield that has sorely missed it.
And that makes him the perfect complement to Michael Carrick. They are two players who can pass other teams out of the park and provide some creativity and feed for the forwards and wingers.
Most importantly though, Fletcher adds grit to the midfield and that is something that Manchester United really needed.
As the Scot continues to play he can be the player who sparks the United side, he can be the player who sends his team back into the top four.
He can be the player who saves Manchester United's season.
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