For some Manchester United fans, last weekend’s 3-0 win over Tottenham was the turning point for the much-maligned Marouane Fellaini, who scored the opening goal of the game and went on to secure the Man of the Match award.
The Belgium international certainly performed well on the day - he deserves credit where it’s due - but there’s no way Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal should be seriously considering the idea of making the Belgium international the focal point of his attack.
It’s a frightening prospect which ought to terrify the living daylights out of the Red Devils’ faithful. Ask yourself this: would Fellaini get into the starting line-ups of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal or any other top European side? The teams Manchester United should be competing with. The answer is, of course, a resounding no.
Fellaini suits long-ball teams
Fellaini suits teams that rely on set-pieces to score goals. He’s almost unbeatable in the air, while his chest control is arguably better than any other player in world football.
But United shouldn’t be relying on set-pieces to score goals. For two decades they were one of the best footballing sides on the planet - and now all of a sudden they’re setting their sights on becoming the next Stoke City?
Fellaini is still not good enough for United
Yes, Fellaini scored a well-taken left-footed effort from open play against Spurs, but don’t expect that to become the norm. The 27-year-old is not a technically-gifted footballer - unless the ball is around head height - and tends to struggle against superior opponents.
Last year he was a complete disaster in United’s biggest matches, but it wasn’t his fault he was brought to Manchester United for a ridiculous £27.5 million fee. David Moyes panicked at the end of the 2013 summer transfer window and spent well over the odds on a player United didn’t need in the first place.
United need to sign a proper striker this summer
He has been reasonably useful in recent weeks with Robin van Persie injured and Radamel Falcao in dire form, but Van Gaal should be setting his sights on signing a striker to replace the two aforementioned forwards.
Fellaini is not the answer - not in midfield, not at number ten, and certainly not upfront.
Once United strengthen this summer on top-quality acquisitions, it’s hard to see a place in Van Gaal’s starting line-up for Fellaini, who would be an excellent signing for a club that employ slightly more direct tactics.
If Van Gaal wants to be taken seriously when he says Manchester United are not developing into a long-ball team, Fellaini is the first player who needs to make way this summer.
Manchester United fans: do you believe Marouane Fellaini should be sold this summer - or does he deserve another chance? Have your say in the comments below!