Former Manchester United player and current MUTV pundit Lou Macari believes Marouane Fellaini could be the answer to the club’s well documented midfield problems amid links to both Fellaini and Cesc Fabregas.
Fellaini was Everton’s stand-out performer last term, scoring 11 league goals in the Toffees ultimately unsuccessful push for Champions League football and the Belgian international has proved to be a thorn in United’s side on more than one occasion over the past 18 months.
And speaking to talkSPORT, Macari suggested Fellaini could bring goals and physicality to the engine room which has been in distinctly short supply in recent seasons.
“What Fellaini gives you, which Fabregas doesn’t, is goals – he likes to get forward and I’m not sure [Fabregas] gives you that,” he said.
“What Fabregas does do, though, is give you the ability to knock the balls around. They desperately need someone in there.
Macari’s comments were initially met with ridicule by the majority of United fans and perhaps with good reason – after all, while Fellaini reached double figures last term, this was largely as the focal point of the team as a second striker.
Furthermore, over the past five seasons (since Fellaini joined Everton) he has scored only 32 goals in 173 appearances in all competitions. Over the same period, Fabregas has 50 goals in 221 games to his name as well as a further 81 appearances. It’s farily clear who is the more creative.
Despite this, I still believe Fellaini can offer something to the United midfield. At 6”4, he’s a huge presence in both boxes and while last season he played in the hole, this was out of necessity rather than choice – there’s little doubt his best position is as a holding midfielder, illustrated by his man of the match display against Arsenal last term.
There’s little doubting who I’d pick given the choice, mind. Fabregas scores and creates in equal measure with alarming regularity. He was easily the best midfielder in the league in his Arsenal pomp and could bring the same quality to United.
The 26-year-old’s spell in Barcelona is only likely to have improved him and he’d come back more experienced and well-rounded than when he left England. Training daily with Xavi and Iniesta can only be beneficial.
Fabregas would be a dream signing, a statement of intent that our midfield will be rolled over by the likes of Newcastle no longer. It’s not entirely feasible that Barcelona will sell Thiago and Cesc in the same window though, especially with Xavi seeming to be slightly on the wane and no burgeoning replacement threatening to oust him from the setup.
Perhaps then Fellaini remains the only option and his £23 million release clause is unlikely to put David Moyes off. A reunion seems plausible and the 25-year-old is certainly more attainable than Fabregas.
As Lou Macari said, new recruits are needed and with their being a distinct lack of talent available this summer, the Everton midfielder at least represents a proven talent with plenty of bite about him. Perhaps he might not be the unmitigated disaster many believe he would be.
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