Despite being linked with 38 senior players during the summer transfer window, Manchester United ultimately had to make do with just one new arrival – Marouane Fellaini.
Youngsters Guillermo Varela and Saidy Janko also arrived, but they are players very much for the future.
So what of Fellaini? Is he exactly the type of player United have been crying out for, or was it £27.5million not so well spent?
Recent comments from two ex-players paint an interesting contrast, with former United player Paddy Crerand believing the Belgian will excel at Old Trafford, and Everton legend Howard Kendall thinking quite the opposite.
Speaking to MUTV, Crerand was glowing in his praise for Fellaini and what he can bring to his new club’s midfield.
“I’m delighted United have signed Marouane Fellaini and I think most fans should be too,” he said, “because the one thing we’ve lacked at Manchester United in the middle of the park is somebody powerful and strong.
“I wouldn’t want (Yaya) Toure playing against me; a big, powerful guy, hard to compete with. We’ve got our own now.”
Mentioning Fellaini in the same breath as United greats Bryan Robson and Roy Keane, Crerand believed that the arrival of the midfielder would be vital in David Moyes’ future success. And given United’s glaring midfield deficiencies in recent times – most notably in the bigger games both domestically and abroad – it is hard to argue with him.
And yet one man is, if not directly.
Former Everton player and manager Howard Kendall has told the Daily Star that Fellaini will do nothing to improve the current league champions.
“Moyes wanted him and got him but I don’t think he’ll improve Manchester United,” Kendall said.
“I appreciate the lad. He’s got presence because of his size and he’s dangerous at set-pieces,” he added. “But he floats, he plays it easy. He’s too safe with the ball for me. He doesn’t hurt the opposition with a pass.”
And perhaps that would be a problem, if United didn’t have the likes of Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa – players who most certainly can hurt the opposition with their passing range.
Fellaini may have spent much of his time at Everton playing as an attacking midfielder or a withdrawn forward, but Moyes has already said he intends to play him in the centre.
If he can bring some much needed steel to United’s core, and allow those around him to play the Hollywood balls, then Kendall’s point may be irrelevant.
But can he be as influential for United as Toure is for Manchester City? Well, if he can, the furore surrounding transfer deadline day will be swiftly forgotten.
Who do you think will be proved right: Crerand or Kendall?
image: © nicksarebi