Moyes backing for Fellaini

  • Last Updated: September 3 2013, 16:37 BST

David Moyes is certain Marouane Fellaini will prove to be a massive success at Manchester United.

David Moyes: Pleased with Marouane Fellaini signing
David Moyes: Pleased with Marouane Fellaini signing

Marouane Fellaini

31. Marouane Fellaini

Title Number
Appearances 6 (2)
Goals 1
Assists 1
Yellows 0
Reds 0
*Current Season

Chaotic and, at times, shambolic deadline-day dealing ended with Fellaini being United's only significant acquisition.

And at £27.5million, the 25-year-old has not come cheaply.

Indeed, Moyes' decision to let a clause in Fellaini's contract expire at the end of July backfired as it ended up costing United an additional £4million, turning the Belgium international into the fourth most expensive purchase in the Red Devils' history.

However, having worked with Fellaini for five years at Goodison Park, Moyes is acutely aware of the former Standard Liege man's qualities.

And he has no doubt Fellaini will thrive in his new environment.

"Marouane is not someone you want to be playing against," Moyes told MUTV.

"He has attributes other people don't have. And with those qualities he has, I am sure he will be a big player for Manchester United."

Moyes will be relieved to bolster his midfield options.

The Scot identified it as a problem area as soon as he took over from Sir Alex Ferguson in July.

With Paul Scholes retired and Darren Fletcher no nearer making a comeback from the chronic bowel condition that has raised many questions about the Scot's career, United desperately needed reinforcements.

And, as Moyes pointed out, Fellaini provides a variety of options.

"He can play higher up the field if we need him to, just behind a main striker," said Moyes.

"He can play as a defensive or holding midfield player. In fact he is comfortable in any position in the middle of the field.

"It was definitely a position where people would say we were short, not just of numbers, with the likes of Paul Scholes retiring and Darren Fletcher not being ready to come back just now.

"I am glad we have got him."

Yet it is a transfer window that will go down in the annals of United history for all the wrong reasons.

Although Ferguson was not afraid of doing business in the last dregs of deadline day, breaking United's transfer record to snap up Dimitar Berbatov at a similarly late stage of the 2008 window, the Scot felt it was a notoriously difficult time to do business and tended to avoid it if possible.

Given Moyes only got his feet under the table on July 1 and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was also new in his role, it was no surprise that United took some time to get themselves organised.

What came as a shock was the vigour and openness with which they pursued Cesc Fabregas, a saga that ran on far too long once it became evident the former Arsenal skipper had no intention of leaving Barcelona.

Mooted signings of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo might have been attractive in theory but in reality were virtually impossible to pull off.

Hesitation over the Fabregas deal also meant United missed out on Thiago Alcantara, who opted to join Bayern Munich instead, whilst a variety of names, including Mesut Ozil, were thought about but discarded before deadline-day dawned.

It meant Moyes and Woodward were in a position of weakness, which Everton chairman Bill Kenwright exploited to the full, having been left furious at the "insulting and derisory" £28million joint bid for Fellaini and Leighton Baines.

What subsequently happened on Monday just fuels the notion of a rudderless ship.

For instance, United dealt directly with Athletic Bilbao over Ander Herrera, and therefore had no knowledge of the three men who turned up at the Primera Division headquarters, claiming to be part of the deal.

Similarly, they made no second bid for the 24-year-old, when speculation to the contrary will now make it appear they were undone by a complex tax system rather than a straightforward belief £30.5million was far too much to pay for a young midfield player with no Champions League experience who has never featured in a full international.

Some of the wounds were self-inflicted.

In leaving it so late to identify Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao as a suitable alternative to Baines, whom Moyes failed to prize away from Kenwright, United ensured there was not enough time to complete the chain that would have seen the Portugal defender begin a season-long loan at Old Trafford.

That the deal was put together at all raises question marks over Moyes' assessment of Patrice Evra, one of the most popular and experienced members of the United squad.

Little wonder few even mentioned the most significant piece of news, that Moyes managed to keep Wayne Rooney, which for a long time seemed highly unlikely.

Indeed, with Rooney retained, Wilfried Zaha at United after spending the second half of last season on loan at Crystal Palace, plus 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj now virtually certain to be elevated into the first-team squad on a regular basis, Moyes' group is a good deal fresher than most observers imagine.

Nevertheless, even at Old Trafford, there can be few who argue the last 48 hours have been a positive experience for the Red Devils.

And when they return to Premier League action against Crystal Palace in a fortnight, a game that takes place ahead of the start of Moyes' first Champions League group stage campaign as United boss and then a trip to Manchester City, scrutiny on the club will be even more intense than usual.


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