Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has encouraged to use Marouane Fellaini in an advanced role at Manchester United.
The Belgian emerged as an unlikely star of the show during Man United’s 3-0 win over FC Basel on Tuesday night after coming on for the injured Paul Pogba with just 16 minutes on the clock.
He powered home a bullet header after 36 minutes to put the home side ahead and, alongside stopping Basel from breaking through the middle, provided a late assist for Marcus Rashford.
And Gerrard, speaking on BT Sport, noted that the 29-year-old will cause plenty of damage this season if Mourinho gives him the chance to burst forward.
“In the middle of the pitch, he never used to hurt you or harm you, you’d play against him all day,” he said. “You used to like playing around him, he didn’t really bother you.”
“But for Everton as a forward, he’d back into you, people could run off and he’d be a right handful. For United, if people get quality deliveries into the box he’ll score you goals.”
Barcelona announced themselves to the Champions League with a sublime Lionel Messi goal; Bayern’s first was a penalty from Robert Lewandowski – nice and routine, as is always the case with Bayern; Chelsea’s first was a wonder-strike from Pedro; Paris Saint Germain’s was Neymar cutting through a meek back four. Every team announced themselves in this year’s Champions League in ways that befitted their wider approach.
And United did it through a classic Fellaini header. Indeed, there aren’t many better sights in football – nay, life itself – than a ball sailing gently into the box and being met by that inexorable fuzzy afro, seemingly transcending the very limits of aerodynamics as he brushes aside hapless defenders and ominously crashes the ball past a bewildered keeper.
A precursor, perhaps, for a useful avenue of attack this season?