Why Marouane Fellaini Would Be a Disappointing Signing for Manchester United

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Why Marouane Fellaini Would Be a Disappointing Signing for Manchester United
Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Marouane Fellaini

Manchester United fans and the media from time to time wilfully speculate about Sir Alex Ferguson signing Marouane Fellaini this summer.

Despite the manager's constant assertions about the strength and depth of his squad, Sunday's collapse from a winning position showed above all that midfield needs strengthening.

Let's be clear here. Unlike many panic-stricken posters on this website and elsewhere in cyberspace, we are not climbing on the bandwagon of Cleverley not being good enough for United or England.

Nor are we suddenly going to lambast United's midfield and the newly sanctified Michael Carrick simply because it was overrun in the second half against Chelsea.

Frankly, in that period United were awful. And indeed from worryingly early in the first half they started to serve up a salver of misplaced passes, lost possession and general lethargy. They were lucky to escape with a draw.

Sir Alex can make all manner of excuses about full-backs being "knackered" and midfielders "tiring badly" following the Real Madrid debacle.

If anything, Chelsea had more excuse to be tired and demotivated, having travelled back from a disappointing loss in Romania only a couple of days before. While Mata only came on as a late substitute in that match, Chelsea's squad is thinner than United's.

And if Rafael, Evra, Carrick and Cleverley were "knackered," why on Earth did he play them?

From one point of view, there have been a couple of reasons to question Sir Alex's judgement recently. First, he delayed far too long before making a substitution against Real Madrid. Surely the introduction of Jonny Evans and Wayne Rooney should have been immediate to stiffen the midfield?

And with regard to yesterday's match, if Rafael and Evra were likely to struggle, why on Earth didn't he play Smalling and Buttner, both of whom were fresh?

As to the midfield tiring, surely therein lies the prime focus for United's transfer activity this summer?

No, we're not ignoring the delicious possibility of Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford. That is a titillating sideshow and frankly a no-brainer at any price.

Nor are we saying Carrick and Cleverley aren't good enough. With Paul Scholes probably retiring this summer and Anderson surely on the way out after a string of inconsistent performances, the two Cs are undoubtedly United's best midfield pairing. They also complement each other.

Sir Alex Ferguson clearly thinks so too. And Nick Powell is waiting in the wings to get his chance after the title is sewn up, following several excellent games in the Under 21s.

There is also the possibility that if Wayne Rooney stays and Robert Lewandowski arrives, the Evertonian will be moved permanently into midfield, where his engine and energy can be optimally applied.

But with Ryan Tunnicliffe not looking like the new Roy Keane anytime soon and Davide Petrucci not in the same class as these names here, surely the Scottish knight must see that at least one midfield signing is paramount this summer.

And that person is not Marouane Fellaini. But it could be Luka Modric, as we mentioned previously.

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