Fellaini capture masks United's deadline day disaster

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Marouane Fellaini - the £27.5 million deadline day signing brought in by Manchester United boss David Moyes as the man to solve the Old Trafford club's midfield dilemma. But is he up to the task?

Make no mistake about it, Fellaini impressed during a seven-year stint at Goodison Park and no-one knows him better than Moyes, but there was something about the whole saga that smacked of desperation.

On July 31, Fellaini's £23.5 million release clause expired - cue a huge sigh of relief heard coming from the blue half of Merseyside, with Everton seemingly fending off interest in one of their most prized assets for another window. I mean, surely a team of United's stature wouldn't come in for Fellaini and be forced to pay over the odds, would they?

Wrong. The Red Devils returned to Goodison on deadline day with an offer worth £4 million more than what they could have signed the 25-year-old midfielder for just a few weeks prior. Although United eventually got the transfer over the line with just minutes to spare, it has to be asked, why did they wait to get their man?

Couple this with the the farcical Ander Herrera debacle - with reports in Spain suggesting impostors attempted to muscle in on the deal - and it's clear that a transfer strategy was conspicuously absent from Old Trafford this summer.

Having just been beaten 1-0 by arch rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, these reports did little to quell the fears of United fans who are fretting over life without Sir Alex Ferguson. In fact, a penny for the thoughts of SAF, though you get the impression that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward would haggle over that price too…

In fact, Woodward has a lot to answer for. Whilst the departed David Gill leaves incredibly big shoes to fill at Old Trafford, early indications suggest Woodward is struggling to come to terms with the cut-throat nature of the transfer market. Perhaps clubs find it easier to haggle with Woodward and Moyes than they did with Gill and Ferguson?

United's woes didn't end their either, when Moyes saw his last-ditch loan move for Fábio Coentrão fail to come to fruition. Again, why leave it so late? The whole window for United has been a disaster, and coupled with an indifferent start to life under Moyes on the pitch, United's fans are concerned - and rightly so.

However, despite their disastrous window the situation is salvageable for United. With players such as Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez, there are more than enough goals in the side to ensure that Moyes' men are challenging for the title, irrespective of their transfer shortcomings.

That said, the fans will not want to see a repeat performance in future transfer windows, and the Red Devils must make sure they do not make the same errors come January. Woodward in particular will face serious questions about a summer transfer policy that has left United looking off the pace and out of sorts.

Perhaps life after Fergie is going to be a struggle after all...

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Manchester United
Marouane Fellaini
Premier League

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