Despite the summer arrivals of Jose Mourinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, it’s been a tumultuous start to the season for Manchester United.
The Red Devils burst out the blocks with three wins, but an unsettling few weeks have seen them beached in seventh place. Furthermore, there have been more than a few players struggling to perform this campaign.
Robbie Savage is certainly of the opinion that a number of United stars need to improve their form this season. In fact, the pundit believes one player hasn’t been a true fit at Old Trafford from the very start.
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For many, Marouane Fellaini at Manchester United has always been a curious case.
The Belgian was, as confirmed by Ryan Giggs, a last minute panic buy by David Moyes who was sacked just eight months later. Furthermore, considering how disastrous Fellaini’s debut season was, it seemed certain that his United career would be as short as that of the manager who signed him.
Nevertheless, Louis van Gaal kept faith in the ex-Everton midfielder and with a surprising degree of success. While the 28-year-old didn’t set the Premier League alight, it was an astonishing improvement upon his 2013-14 antics.
In light of this unlikely renaissance, Fellaini became a regular starter under LVG and this trend has spilled over into Mourinho’s tenure.
The Special One has already deployed the Belgian nine times this term and has fielded him in a similar manner to Nemanja Matic at Chelsea. When Mourinho wants to smother teams and park the bus, Fellaini seems to be his man.
He may not be perfect, but Fellaini has progressed from Moyes’ pet to a genuinely valued member of the United squad.
However, one man who isn’t convinced is Savage.
The ex-United youth protégée has sympathised with the opinions of fans as opposed to that of Mourinho. The ex-Derby County player doesn’t discount Fellaini, but he believes the Belgian isn’t the right fit for United and perhaps, would be better suited elsewhere.
Writing in his weekly column for the Mirror, the 42-year-old explained: “I would argue that, for all his qualities as a player at Everton, Marouane Fellaini simply does not fit the template if you want a team to move the ball quickly and play at an adventurous tempo.”
Savage does have a point. Considering United are renowned for their attacking football, Fellaini proves the antithesis of such a philosophy. It’s hard to imagine Sir Alex Ferguson signing him after all.
Nevertheless, given the football Mourinho is pitching at Old Trafford, Fellaini could be better suited than it appears. Besides, if the Red Devils are going to play as they did at Liverpool every week, then the 28-year-old is the perfect man.
No matter how consistently he performs though, supporters and Savage alike still won’t be sold by United fielding the lumbering Belgian week in, week out.
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