Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has piled the praise onto teammate Marouane Fellaini after his performance against Stoke City.
Fellaini bagged United’s first goal in the 2-1 and continued his fine form after he was offered a first team chance by Louis van Gaal.
Mata has explained where he thinks Fellaini is probably the best player in the league, while admitting that he’s happy to see his United colleague playing well as the side consolidates in the top four.
“In the air, he (Fellaini) is one of the best probably in the league,” Mata told the Manchester United website.
“He can score goals like he did, arriving from the second line (of attack). He is very important and I’m very happy for him because he had difficult moments at the beginning. He was very professional, he’s a very nice guy and I’m very happy for him.”
Fellaini is never going to be the most refined footballer but he’s started to give United something they have been lacking in the middle of their team; a real presence and a physical edge.
United have plenty of talented and creative players in possession but Fellaini has been able to step in and make the most of his opportunities by providing that physical edge and offering United something they have been missing.
His aerial game has always been strong because of his height and power making him difficult for defenders to mark and get the better of at set pieces.
It’s important for Fellaini that he continues to find ways of being effective in United’s midfield because sides are going to start devoting more time and attention towards keeping him quiet and keeping him out of big games.
He suffered a difficult start to life at the club under David Moyes but he finally seems to be showing why the club spent so much money to bring him in from Everton.