Ever since coming off the bench to score away at West Bromwich Albion, Fellaini has slowly but surely made himself almost indispensable with his performances.
In a more advanced role akin to his Everton days, Fellaini has been a real handful and proved everybody wrong to breath fresh life into his United career which looked lifeless at one stage.
Speaking ahead of the derby, van Gaal made it clear he felt Fellaini did a job that no other midfielder could in the current United squad:
“Marouane always does the things that we want from him.
“He is delivering what we want from a midfielder. We have other players who are too creative and too emotional to do the job that Marouane does. So when I put him in the team, I’ve always said that it was for the balance of our team.
“We needed him in the team and he plays his role very well.”
Fellaini is playing more like the player United thought they had signed for £27.5m. He’s using his physique to his advantage, bullying the opposition and gives United so much more presence in attack.
It will be interesting to see whether Fellaini has a long term future under van Gaal or if he intends to replace him with somebody like Kevin Strootman or Arturo Vidal in the summer but for the time being, the Belgian has made himself one of the first names on the team-sheet.