Benitez wants Fellaini for role he played twice at United last season

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez reportedly wants to give Marouane Fellaini a chance to play where he featured just twice for Manchester United last season.

As reports grow suggesting a move to Napoli for Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, the question on several lips will be why is Rafa Benitez considering the Belgian?

The Belgian struggled to make a big impact at Old Trafford last season and the Daily Mail suggests the former Liverpool boss wants to give Fellaini a chance to play frequently as an attacking midfielder in Serie A.

“Felliani is aware of Napoli's interest and that the club's manager Rafael Benitez believes he can turn him back in to the buccaneering forward player he was when he was at Everton and wants to utilise his physical presence,” reports the Mail.

Fellaini was rarely given the chance to play in behind the main forward under David Moyes, which is surprising considering their relationship at Goodison Park which led to the £27.5 million transfer.

The Belgian made just two appearances last season as an attacking midfielder, which can be explained by the pressure Moyes was under to accommodate both Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney into the same system.

Rooney was often given the job of dropping off into the number ten role, which prevented Fellaini from having a chance to be that ‘buccaneering forward’ in United’s attack.

The situation wasn’t helped by the arrival of Juan Mata from Chelsea and his chances of playing in that role have completely disintegrated after new boss Louis van Gaal urged the club to complete the signing of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao.

Napoli have played down links with Fellaini at this early stage but if Benitez does want him, he can help his chances of a deal by promising Fellaini a chance to play consistently as an attacking player.

That would allow him to utilise his physical strengths and take the pressure away from the player in terms of having to adhere to defensive responsibility, counteracting his normally attacking instincts.

There’s still a chance that van Gaal could keep the Belgian at United and work to turn him into a better midfielder but if he’s harbouring hopes of playing at the top of United’s midfield, he could be waiting for a long time to get that chance.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch