Marouane Fellaini: 6 Reasons Everton's Star Player Won't Be Leaving in January
Twelve points from their opening six games have finally given David Moyes the fast start he's craved for so many of his recent seasons in charge of Everton.
Fed up with his side's recurring habit of beating all comers after Christmas, having struggled to compete early on, this season's hasty start has already led to whispers of a top-six, or even top-four finish, being possible.
Naturally, such imposing form tends to catch the eye of a wider audience, and those players particularly central to their team's impressive play begin attracting far more attention from the game's elite sides.
One man especially influential to the Toffees so far has been Marouane Fellaini, and his controversial recent comments, where he mentions the possibility of leaving the Toffees next year, have made him an automatic feature in transfer gossip columns.
Should any courting begin in January, here are six reasons Everton's afro-sporting Belgian will keep potential admirers waiting, at least until the summer.
New Contract Means No Rush
The first thing to consider with any potential move for Fellaini is Everton's position on the matter.
Naturally, all associated with the Toffees would instantly oppose any interest, and thanks to a freshly inked contract extension that greatly solidifies their stance, the club can afford to adopt an aggressive approach.
Considering Fellaini is not yet through the first year of this bumper deal, and given his age and the fact his value is only likely to increase further, the Toffees will be in no rush to sell, regardless of some well-documented financial restraints.
Having recently made this commitment to the club, it is also unlikely Fellaini would want to suddenly rock the boat so soon after signing this long-term deal.
Previous Price Inflates His Value
It would not be a surprise if the recent negotiations between player and club did not partially delve into talk of Fellaini's possible future away from Goodison Park one day.
The fact the Toffees splashed out themselves in acquiring the Belgian back in 2008, with a club-record fee of £15 million, also distorts the chances of any potential January move—Everton would want a significant return.
Any bid shy of almost double that figure simply won't make financial sense to the club, considering his contractual situation and given how much the Toffees have already invested in advancing his development.
Unless a top side is in a real predicament come January, it is highly unlikely this will transpire, as the Toffees can command top dollar and hold most suitors to ransom.
Summer Move Allows More Time
If it has to happen at all, it is obvious Everton would prefer this potential situation to unravel during a summer transfer window, with far more time to formulate a new way forward.
It is also possible this may be in Fellaini's thoughts and best interests.
Punctuating a busy month of fixtures, the frenetic pace of the January window rarely gives a player a chance to weigh up his own options before making a move.
Having spent a considerable amount of time honing his skills at Everton, learning his craft and combating the best in the game in the Premier League, his next transfer is likely to be the standout move of his career.
It is certainly something he will want to get right.
Aside from contract and wages, several other factors such as his positional role and the likelihood he will start will prey heavily on Fellaini's mind. It is doubtful he'd be convinced a January move could satisfy every relevant angle within the time-frame.
Everton's Strong Start and Improving Squad a Major Factor
Investing such a lengthy chunk of his career at Everton, this impressive start will surely keep Fellaini keen to explore exactly what can be achieved this season with the Toffees.
The past two transfer windows have seen flurry of high-calibre players ushered in to boost the squad at Goodison Park, and the players in the dressing room will be confident of maintaining their early form.
Being the focal point of this success is something Fellaini will enjoy.
He will have grown attached to the club and playing well in a successful team, now alongside his friend and compatriot Kevin Mirallas, is something he may want to prolong.
He will realise that if he stays part of an Everton side that can upset the odds and stay in the mix for a Champions League place, achieving that would go down as a truly momentous career achievement that would dramatically enhance his reputation.
Developed Role May Make Suitors Wait
A factor not in Fellaini's hands, but in the hands of potential admirers, is the revamped role he has been playing this season and whether it may make those watching him a little cautious.
Having proved himself to be one of the Premier League's elite pressers and ball winners, at his best when prowling around in front of the back four, so far this year he is very much been playing as a support striker.
This advanced role is certainly in his repertoire, and he's excelled in it several times, but it is not the role in which many have seen him forge his reputation and consistently dominate over the past four years.
Whilst he has started in devastating fashion, it may be that those managers keen on his services would prefer to assess him over a full season in this attacking role, before committing to any extravagant bid.
Difficult Equation to Solve Midseason
All in all, Fellaini's transfer has several tricky elements that complicate the equation far too much to favour a January move.
The price on his head is likely only to be attainable for a select group of clubs, and generally sides need time to graft away at such sizeable numbers.
Reluctant to lose a star asset halfway through, his new contract means Everton can afford to exaggerate their asking price to stave off winter admirers and keep their man for the duration of this campaign—and hopefully a few more.
Many Evertonians begrudgingly accept there may well come a day when Fellaini moves on to a side capable of regularly challenging for the Champions League.
A cult hero already, if he could somehow lead the Toffees there first, he would undoubtedly go down as a modern-day club legend.
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