David Moyes may have been relieved of his managerial duties at Manchester United in recent days, but elements of his legacy at Old Trafford are likely to remain for some time.
However, Belgium international Marouane Fellaini is one aspect of the Scot’s regime who should quickly be disposed of. Signed for an extortionate £27.5million fee from Everton last summer, he has visibly suffered all season under the lights at Old Trafford, feeling the pressure of enormous expectation week after week.
He was branded as nothing more than a panic buy upon his arrival, with Moyes acquiring his services on deadline day in August of last year. His move received a mixed reaction, as a number of United fans were quick to cast their doubts over the 26-year-old’s credentials - it is almost as if he never stood a chance.
Fellaini thrived in Moyes’ system at Everton, as he and his manager enjoyed a fruitful league campaign, before making the move to Old Trafford. The Merseyside outfit became very dependent on the Belgian throughout that campaign, relying on his physicality and aerial ability in the centre of the pitch.
At United, he has been forced to play in a much deeper role than he has previously been accustomed to. His attributes hardly make him accustomed to fulfill a ball-playing central midfield role and the evidence on the pitch has shown little to suggest he could become the midfield general United have yearned for. The club has always maintained a strict philosophy of fast, attacking football – a style that sees the Belgian stick out like a sore thumb.
Perhaps he could adapt with time, but the next boss will not be afforded the same patience as Moyes. The supporters will be expecting instant results after recently experiencing 10 months full of anguish. With the Scot forced out the back door, it seems unlikely that the future United manager - whoever he may be - will prepared to persist with Fellaini .
A tell-tale sign of his future came in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Norwich. Not only did the Belgian fail to make interim manager Ryan Giggs’ starting eleven, but his entire match day squad. Surely this is a clear indication of his value to the current side?
With the club’s old guard retaining their place in the Welshman’s chosen line-up, he found no place for the summer signing. Giggs has promised the fans “goals and entertainment” – a criteria the cumbersome midfielder is unlikely to fulfill.
This leads to the simple conclusion that United should look to cash-in on Fellaini this summer. He has ultimately failed to live up to his transfer fee and, with future first-team chances seemingly few and far between, the club should cut their losses while they still have the opportunity.