Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini can rescue his faltering career if he swaps Manchester United for Rafael Benitez’s Napoli this summer.
The 26-year-old, who was signed by former manager David Moyes from Everton under dramatic circumstances on transfer deadline day last summer, endured a miserable first season at Old Trafford as United failed to land a European place in the absence of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Now, with Louis van Gaal at the helm, the Dutchman intends to make his mark at the club by offloading the midfielder with Italy and the rigours of Serie A now the most likely destination.
That the Belgium midfielder became intrinsically linked with Moyes throughout the Scot’s Old Trafford reign means an exit will not come as a surprise to the footballing world.
In a transfer window that had seen them linked with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas, the desperate swoop for a Moyes disciple ultimately yielded poor results.
He made just a single assist all season, in the 4-0 victory over Norwich with Ryan Giggs in the managerial dugout, and was woeful in the two batterings by Manchester City and Liverpool on home soil.
The arrival of Ander Herrera and United’s pursuits of Arturo Vidal, Kevin Strootman and William Carvalho mean his days on Mancunian shores are now numbered.
Yet his form displayed during his time at Goodison Park with Everton show that, if utilised correctly, he is a rare talent.
Physically strong with a powerful leap, the Belgian was too often the scrooge of United during his playing days, scoring during a 4-4 draw between the sides in April 2012 and netting the winner mere months later in a 1-0 triumph for the Toffees.
His time in Manchester though poor has been blighted by injuries, and the burden of his £27.5 million price tag has proved one difficult to ignore, but when fully fit and confident he stands as one of the Premier League’s most formidable assets.
Napoli have already raided the Premier League for Swansea City striker Michu, and any bid for Fellaini must meet the £15 million valuation set by his employers.
Ftting the midfielder into a side already boasting the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Marek Hamsik and Dries Mertens could see them wrestle the Scudetto back from current champions Juventus.
They lifted the Coppa Italia in Benitez’s maiden campaign last term and could use that victory as a springboard to dominate the domestic and possibly European scene.
It could just be that Napoli and Benitez manage to coax the wonders from Fellaini that Moyes and Manchester United never could. It could be a transfer to haunt Van Gaal if he succeeds in Italy.