Manchester United fans have endured a frustrating summer in the transfer market, missing out on high-profile targets such as Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara as new manager David Moyes tried in vain to bolster his midfield.
In the end it was left to the last hour of the transfer window before Moyes went back to Everton to secure midfielder Marouane Fellaini for £27.5 million, much to the frustration of many supporters who craved a stellar signing in the mould of Fabregas or even Cristiano Ronaldo.
But following the Belgian's solid performance in United's convincing 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen, the fans are beginning to come around to the idea of Fellaini marshalling the midfield. Fellaini was dominant in the centre of the park, proving his worth as a physical presence that players such as Ryan Giggs and Tom Cleverley simply cannot match.
The former Everton player broke up opposition attacks well and highlighted his aerial prowess with a number of important headers, particularly in his own box. He also maintained possession and passed the ball well bar a couple of overly ambitious through-balls.
Yet the most important aspect of Fellaini's game was the performance of those around him. Wayne Rooney had his best game in a long time and this is in no small part down to Fellaini's work as a midfield anchor, providing Rooney with a solid midfield platform and allowing the Englishman to stay forward and focus on attack.
Ozil would no doubt have been an excellent signing for Manchester United with his creativity and vision, but he thrives on a solid platform which the Premier League champions were missing before Fellaini joined. By signing the imposing midfielder, Moyes has built this platform for his playmakers to thrive upon.
Although Shinki Kagawa failed to impress against Bayer Leverkusen, he is still a very talented player and with Fellaini and a good run of games behind him, he could well become a very effective playmaker for the club. Cleverley, who has struggled when played alongside the consistently excellent Michael Carrick, may find that playing as an advanced playmaker will suit him better.
It shouldn't be forgotten that this Manchester United team won the Premier League at a canter last season and with Fellaini freeing up the more attack minded players, the title holders shouldn't be written off just yet.
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