A year or so ago news that Marouane Fellaini was likely to be sold to Besiktas, or anybody else for that matter, would have been met with rejoicing by the Old Trafford faithful.
Now, however, they have realised what a useful squad player he is to have around. The supporters have gone from vilifying him for conceding a penalty which cost United two points at Everton, to voting him man of the match on a couple of occasions since.
He is a versatile player who can be used as a battering ram to break down the defensive door when the likes of Pogba, Matić and Mata forget their keys. He is useful at the other end when the team is trying to hold on to a lead. He is also a midfield destroyer in every sense off the word.
On the other side of the coin, he can be a liability. He will concede numerous free-kicks because he is clumsy and he will get in the way of the more talented players, causing chances to be missed or goals to he conceded.
But by far the biggest disadvantage with Fellaini is that he is not really good enough for United.
He is good enough, at present, for the likes of Everton, West Ham or Newcastle, teams who are looking to take the next step up.
It is also noticeable that he isn’t being courted by any of the other current top six teams. He wouldn’t be welcome at City or Chelsea, Tottenham don’t suit his style and even Arsenal and Liverpool haven’t shown any interest. So, if he isn‘t good enough for them, what is he doing at Old Trafford?
If he were to leave now he would be joining the team third in the Turkish league. A step down for sure but, as is always said, isn’t any move away from United a step down?
José Mourinho has, apparently, been told he needs to sell players before he can buy and this would be a reasonable start. He has also kept Fellaini’s value reasonably high by constantly praising him when the temptation, at times, must have been to show his true feelings and give him a roasting.
Now, if he really needs to sell players before he can buy new ones can we expect the likes of Smalling, Young, Darmian and Lingard to follow him out of the door? Or are we just being overly optimistic?
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