It’s been clear all season long that even with a roster that boasts names like Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, Manchester United are in need of another striker.
Rooney is the clear favorite for the striker role, but if he should be sent off or pick up a knock, as was the case against Crystal Palace on Saturday, then who do United look when they need goals?
We can all agree that Van Persie’s arrival at the club before in 2012 season was the reason United won the Premier League title that year.
The Dutchman's haul of 26 in 28 appearances for the club single-handedly handed Sir Alex Ferguson his 13th league title with the Red Devils.
However, at 31-years-old and injuries becoming more and more common, Van Persie's best days are behind him and he simply can’t be relied on to score when it matters like he has in the past, let alone play a full 90 minutes.
Once known as arguably the best target man and poacher in football, Falcao has certainly lost his killer instinct as well, and is all but certain to be playing his football elsewhere next season.
One could make an argument for James Wilson and to a degree this would be valid, but at 19, Wilson still has a ways to go before taking on the pressure of being Manchester United's goalscorer.
He has shown signs of brilliance, yes, and his pace and energy cause problems for defenders, but his decision-making in the final third still needs work, with bouts of selfishness or choosing the wrong option belying his inexperience. Give him time, though.
Diamond in the rough
In Marouane Fellaini, however, United have a diamond in the rough.
The Belgian’s resurgence as the winger-supported striker in a 4-3-3, or even as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1, surprised many but it makes sense, and more importantly, it’s working.
Fellaini scored the winner against Crystal Palace on Saturday and despite his lanky, sometimes clumsy-looking movement, produced exceptional performances when facing some of the best teams the Premier League has to offer; a far cry from the lost-at-sea player from last season whose future in Manchester looked bleak.
While he may not be as graceful on the ball as players like Eden Hazard or David Silva, Fellaini offers a different set of skills.
Fellaini’s transformation throughout the year has produced an option previously hidden beneath all that hair. Should Louis van Gaal opt to allow Rooney to sit out a game to recover from his knock, United have options in Van Persie, Falcao or Wilson, but their best choice may a 6’4” midfielder.
Is Marouane Fellaini a better option than Robin van Persie?
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