In his third year at Manchester United, it is fair to say that Marouane Fellaini has not impressed since his £27,500,000 move from Everton, which at the time marked the end of a very ineffective transfer window under ex-manager David Moyes. The Belgian’s attitude towards the potential role he could have in the squad immediately made him a fan favourite. The Stretford End were excited to see the first signing of the post-Ferguson era.
The excitement that came from the transfer was soon turned into frustration, as Fellaini failed to live up to expectations. Many deemed him as a scapegoat for any bad performances under Moyes and current manager Louis van Gaal. It has seemed to be what potentially was the new United if all else fails, hoof the ball to Fellaini in the hope that he can get on the end of it – something he very rarely does. In the recent 1-1 draw against Liverpool, Fellaini was seen as a key attacking outlet in the eyes of Louis van Gaal, much to the dismay of fans on social media. This dismay was further backed up as at one point in the game he had a clear sight of goal, only to cowardly opt out and pass instead, inducing a wave of boos from the Manchester crowd.
The stats to back up Fellaini’s display only manage to sink him into the depths of the likes of Kleberson and Djemba Djemba in the years gone by. This season he has only been able to muster 1 goal in 29 games, which as a Manchester United player, many deem that this is not good enough. The only way to argue that goals alone should be a reason to drop Fellaini, is not good enough as many of United’s midfielders this season have failed to score from many opportunities. The worrying thing is the Belgian’s lack of creativity. In 15 games he has created 9 chances, with no assists. This should be enough to worry fans as evidently more creative players such as Ander Herrera and Bastian Schweinsteiger are not being played to facilitate a very slow, uncreative central midfield of Fellaini and Michael Carrick, another player who has failed to cover himself with glory this season.
It is also arguable that Fellaini is a disciplinary liability as well, giving away an average of 1.67 fouls per game, yet he seems to get away with a lot too only earning a card every 12.5 fouls. It is widely known however that the former Everton man does have a nasty side to his game, as in the two legs of the Europa League tie against Liverpool, he foolishly and deliberately elbowed two players; Emre Can and Dejan Lovren in respective legs. Both of these incidents deserved a red card in many people’s eyes.
So to conclude, how is Fellaini getting into this team? Is he better than we think he is? Does he have some form of Leverage on the gaffer? Are the coaching staff really that mad? Only Louis van Gaal and the man himself know.