To the surprise of many, Marouane Fellaini has been one of Manchester United's shining lights under the Louis van Gaal regime this season.
In truth, after such a torrid debut campaign at Old Trafford in 2013/14, many doubted whether Fellaini would even be handed the opportunity to prove his credentials once again in the famous red shirt.
Ultimately Fellaini has been handed chances - and more often than not he has taken them. In truth, playing closer to the opposing goal, the former Everton man has finally started to show exactly what he has to offer.
He is a threat in the final third of the pitch and he is a player who can be effective when used correctly.
Fellaini, though, had a day to forget at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon as United suffered their fifth Premier League defeat of the season at the hands of Swansea City.
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Nothing particularly seemed to go for him as he failed to stamp his mark on the game. He was, however, making his mark on his opponents as he mistimed a number of challenges, looking uneasy and awkward alongside his teammates.
In one sense, his performance against the Swans took us back to last season. The Belgian, who earns a reported £100,000-a-week to play his football at Old Trafford, failed to deliver the goods - even when Van Gaal opted for 'Plan B' as United headed for defeat.
Don't get me wrong, 'Plan B' isn't going to work every time, but is Fellaini really good enough to be in Van Gaal's mind for 'Plan A'? Probably not.
Fellaini over Mata?
However, against the Welsh outfit this past weekend, the Dutchman opted for the Belgian ace over Spanish international Juan Mata. Why?
Against a midfield duo of Jonjo Shelvey and Jack Cork, Van Gaal should have been confident that his players had enough about them to outplay their opponents. In fact, with the Red Devils boasting 64% of the possession, they managed control large parts of the match.
However, they needed more creativity. They needed one of the most creative players in the division on the pitch in Mata; they didn't need Fellaini. There is a time and a place for Fellaini, but it's not at the Liberty Stadium. That time is not against a team Manchester United would expect to dominate.
As a squad player Fellaini represents a fine option for the United regime, but Van Gaal must start utilising his most talented players.
One moment of magic between three of United's best players on Saturday gave a glimpse of what they can create as Wayne Rooney, Angel di Maria and Ander Herrera produced sublime stuff to help open the scoring. Mata would have only made things easier for the Red Devils. On this occasion, it was a waste playing Fellaini from the start.
United are set to play Sunderland this weekend, and Van Gaal must not make the same mistake again. On home soil, against a team struggling at the wrong end of the table, United should have more than enough about them to outclass their opponents. 'Plan B' should stay 'Plan B'.
Manchester United fans: Should Fellaini start on a regular basis for your club? Have your say in the comments section below!
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