Manchester United have ended a barren transfer window with the signing of Marouane Fellaini late on deadline day. It was also believed that the Old Trafford side were trying to close a deal for Athletic Bilbao playmaker Ander Herrera, but a move fell through at the 11th hour.
The reason that the Spaniard’s proposed deal has fallen through is that the clubs were unable to agree a transfer fee. Bilbao maintained that the midfielder’s buyout clause of €36 million (£31m) would need to be met for a switch to happen, which the Red Devils were reluctant to pay.
Fellaini’s deal is being valued at £27.5m and as such there would have been only a couple of extra million to have to be spent to land the Spaniard. Have United made the right decision?
The giant Belgian is obviously a favourite of Moyes’ and has proven himself to be an effective player at Premier League level for Everton over the last five years. Fellaini will most likely be used as an enforcer in front of the United defence, which will give the side more protection and an imposing figure to battle against opposition creative players.
However, Fellaini’s signing goes no way to solving a glaring lack of creativity in the United side when Wayne Rooney or Shinji Kagawa are not in the starting XI. The champions failed to break down a stubborn Liverpool side on Sunday without the pair and the priority all summer long was believed to be the acquisition of a player in the Paul Scholes ilk.
With attempts for Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara running ashore, Herrera’s addition would have been the next best thing. The Bilbao may has flown under the radar with others in the San Mames outfit gaining the plaudits, but his range of passing, box-to-box running and creativity would have solved the problem of a lack of flair.
The choice to sign Fellaini instead of Herrera is a dedication to the side being compact and solid rather than expansive and creative. With Mesut Ozil another playmaker available on the deadline day, United’s inability to add a player with craft to their contingent is worrying for their Premier League title retention hopes.
The club are eager to get back amongst Europe’s elite and compete for the Champions League also, but without creative players able to change a game such as Herrera or Ozil, the Red Devils may well find it difficult to break down top-quality opposition.
Fellaini is a good player and will play an important role for the Old Trafford outfit. However it seems like the addition of a creative player such as Herrera was more of a priority than an enforcer, and as such United are still missing a key ingredient in their midfield.
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