Manchester United toiled in this summers transfer market, as both Ed Woodward and David Moyes struggled to tie up their business for several targets.
The likes of Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas, Ander Herrera and reportedly Mesut Ozil were all considered - but nothing ever came of it.
In the end the only high-profile signing United made was Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini - who followed Moyes to Old Trafford from Goodison Park.
Fellaini has however struggled to settle into his new surroundings. Especially when asked to play as part of a two man midfield he has been found wanting, and his first-half performance against Manchester City came into significant criticism.
Fellaini has been speaking about his move to Manchester United in the French press today, and he was clearly happy with the deal, saying that he ‘couldn’t believe it’ when the deal went through.
He also confirmed that United were not the only team keen on his signature in the summer. He revealed that Arsenal were also looking into bringing him to The Emirates:
‘’This was done at the last minute. I knew they were interested during the transfer window, just like Arsenal . When I first got Manchester United I could not believe it. This is a change, a big step.’’
Arsenal were clearly after a holding midfield player in the summer, but in the end went the cost effective and now universally popular route by bringing in former player Mathieu Flamini - rather than bringing in Fellaini for big money and trying to mould him back into his favoured, but unusual Premier League position.
And considering the indifferent start Fellaini has had at Old Trafford, Arsenal fans will be glad they didn’t win the race for the player.
But Fellaini went on to talk about how much playing for Manchester United means to him, and that he just needs time to adapt. As effective a player that Fellaini is, he is never the most graceful player on the ball, and he is never going to replace Paul Scholes, something he admitted in the interview, simply stating ‘I am not Paul Scholes’.
In time we are sure that Fellaini will have a positive affect at United - but there is also no doubt that signing Flamini for free works out as better value for money.
image: © nicksarebi