Ever since he scored away at West Bromwich Albion, Fellaini has been a regular starter for van Gaal’s side and his improved performances have been very impressive.
Last weekend against Tottenham Hotspur, Fellaini put in his best performance so far in a Man United shirt when he scored and grabbed an assist in a dominant showing, something which clearly left an impression on United’s boss.
“He has qualities that now, at this moment, he can contribute a lot,” van Gaal said.
“That is why he is playing. He also allows me to give balance to the team and that is important for a manager who is looking for balance. I think he has to play higher and higher up and Michael Carrick has to play deeper.
“I have said a lot of times at press conferences, for example he is a player that gives a solution for beating the pressing of the opponents. That’s also a contribution, he has more contributions but that is one of his contributions.”
Fellaini was on the wrong end of harsh criticism in his first year under David Moyes and rightly so because he was very poor, especially when you consider he was signed for £27.5m in the summer.
However, much like Ashley Young, he has kept his head down and worked his way back into the first-team and fans have been very impressed by that turn around in both attitude and performances.
As van Gaal explains, Fellaini does offer something different to United and away at Anfield, a big presence like him in midfield will give a much needed physical edge in what is sure to be a hostile atmosphere.
Fellaini has also improved his discipline and having previously played for Everton, he’ll need to keep his head on his shoulders at Anfield as the home crowd will no doubt attempt to rile him up.
Nobody would have expected Fellaini to emerge as an important player under van Gaal but so long as his performances continue to impress, he’ll play an important role for United during this run-in towards a top four finish.