Alan Hansen is the latest in the footballing community to jump on the bandwagon of questioning Manchester United’s purchase of Marouane Fellaini over the summer.
The Belgium international has found the going tough at Old Trafford since a big-money move from Everton at the end of the transfer window.
The former Liverpool charge has stated that the giant Belgian does not quite fit in at United.
"Fellaini does not yet look what you would call a typical United player. He is struggling since making the step up,” Hansen said in The Telegraph.
"For Everton, his game was all about getting himself in the final third, showing great physicality, aerial prowess, winning high balls and showing a deft touch for one so tall.
"United do not play like Everton did last season. You need to be more technically gifted in central midfield to play for a team like United, able to use your right and left foot to create openings for your strikers, as well as contributing goals of your own.
"Fellaini is not the replacement for Scholes – a virtually impossible task for most players in the world anyway.
"Instead, he looks like a plan B. An alternative if you need a tactical rethink because the usual United strategy of passing through teams is not working. United will go into the transfer window still searching for the midfielder who will execute plan A.
"It was a surprise when United signed Fellaini at the end of the transfer window because, having chased Cesc Fabregas for so long, it was clear the type of midfielder they knew they wanted. Instead, they paid £27 million for a different type.
"At a club of United’s stature, the judgment is swift and brutal. You have to deliver quickly to prove you are worth your shirt. "
It feels slightly unfair for Hansen to criticise Fellaini after the midfielder put in an industrious performance against Cardiff on Sunday – arguably his best since moving to Manchester.
It is only natural that the player will take time to adapt to the step up, and the comparison with Paul Scholes is not a fair one.
Fellaini has been brought to Old Trafford to bring bite, energy and physical presence to the United midfield, which has been missing in recent years.
There has been an emphasis on trying to add creativity to the squad, but the current Premier League champions have been without a designated enforcer in their side since the retirement of Roy Keane.
As such, it is likely that United will pursue a playmaker once more in January, with the new man likely to play alongside Fellaini, rather than instead of him, in the long run.
image: © joncandy