Is Fellaini really what Manchester United need?

Reports this week have emerged claiming Manchester United are preparing to approach Everton for midfielder Marouane Fellaini.

Despite, Everton boss Roberto Martinez’ subsequently insistence that the Toffees have received no offers for the big-haired Belgian, United have been linked with the 25-year-old throughout the summer transfer window.

United were heavily interested in Cesc Fabregas of Barcelona but it seems unlikely the former Arsenal captain will be allowed to leave the Camp Nou this summer. United were also reportedly interested in his former teammate Thiago Alcantara who switched to Bayern Munich last month to link up with Pep Guardiola at the European champions.

Fabregas and Alcantara are both creative, technically exceptional attacking midfield playmakers – both under six foot tall, slight of build and deployed as passing technicians. Fellaini is none of those things.

The 6ft4” midfielder is aerially dangerous and combative – he operates as a target man at times with his back to goal and provides protection and physicality in Everton’s midfield – he’s not the greatest passer of the ball (although he’s not the worst) but that’s not his job description.

The back pages of the tabloids this week are claiming Moyes will swoop for Fellaini as an alternative to Fabregas, which, in and of itself, exposes the poor level of intelligence at such publications – they are completely different players.

United already have one of the finest holding midfielders in the country in Michael Carrick who undoubtedly had his best season in a Red Devils’ shirt last term. Darren Fletcher is hoping to return this year after his struggles with a bowel condition and young Phil Jones can and has been deployed in defensive midfield last term under Sir Alex Ferguson.

United don’t really require a physical presence like Fellaini in midfield – Fellaini wouldn’t suit their purposes unless Moyes is intending to dismantle the style and system that has worked for the last decade at least.

What United really need and desperately crave is a genuine replacement for Paul Scholes – a midfielder with vision, creativity, control and technical quality to pick out a pass forty yards away, control the tempo and dictate the attacking play like an orchestra conductor – that’s what Fabregas is naturally.

Bringing in Fellaini wouldn’t do United any harm – he is a fantastic player who can score goals and make something out of nothing if need be – but he’s not going to help United in a creative sense.

Moyes would be better off looking at a player like Ajax youngster Christian Eriksen or Marek Hamsik at Napoli or Juventus’ Arturo Vidal if they’re prepared to spend the big bucks.

image: © gordonflood

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