Marouane Fellaini convinced David Moyes to buy him with excellent performances against Liverpool for Standard Liege in 2008.
Manchester United manager David Moyes has so far discovered the other side of trying to buy top class players in the transfer market. While at Everton his lack of funds made his transfer prospects narrow and specific - the wealth of funds available at United have seen him held to ransom for several players.
One team doing just that, is indeed Moyes’ former team Everton.
We know the club are interested in Leighton Baines, but on this occasion we are going to focus on the interest in Marouane Fellaini.
So far the clubs chase for the Belgian has received some stinging criticism from a section of United fans, who do not feel he is the type of player the club need or usually employ.
They argue that the club should not be trying to sign an attacking midfield player -as they have Shinji Kagawa already at their disposal.
But while Fellaini has often been used in an advanced midfield role during his time in England we are pretty sure that Moyes is looking at a different Fellaini for United.
At Everton the club were often limited due to their financial clout and lack of depth - therefore Fellaini’s use in the attacking third was an essential tool in their impressive performances.
But when Moyes signed him originally, he spotted the lad playing in a much deeper role - in a game against Liverpool back in 2008.
Liverpool squeezed past Standard Liege in the Champions League qualifiers that season, winning 1-0 on aggregate despite Standard dominating large portions of both legs.
Fellaini played in a much deeper role, and absolutely dominated the midfield against the likes of Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and … well Damien Plessis.
‘’What probably put him over the edge was his performances against Liverpool - that tipped the balance and I thought 'maybe this is the time to try and get him. When you play against Liverpool you are playing against certainly one of the best teams in the Premier League and one of the best in Europe. ‘’
While Manchester United have Michael Carrick performing excellently in the holding role, a team of this standard always needs two options for each position.
Phil Jones is certainly capable of playing the role but bringing in another player to cover that role is certainly an option for Moyes - and it could be he remembers that performance against his Sunday rivals from five years ago, and realises he could easily perform that role.
Is Fellaini being targeted as a deep-lying midfielder?
image: © gordonflood