Image from: ibtimes.co.uk
One thing that is often said about Marouane Fellaini is that he does a job. Does a job seems a bit unfair on him in many respects, even if he is not really a top level player.
When you consider that Fellaini, or Screech as he was affectionately known while playing at Everton, has moved just twice in his career, once for £19m to the Toffees from Standard Liege and then on to Manchester United for £28.5m from there, the job he does must be highly valued. His 63 caps for Belgium are a proud testament to the fact that managers like what he can provide, when used correctly.
Fellaini possesses good strength and height, which makes him particularly useful in the air, maybe even the best in the Premier League, both offensively and defensively. He will never be found lacking in workrate either, always willing to cover defensively and get forward.
While Fellaini is often considered to be just a big lump who is only useful when the ball is in the air, he is decent with the ball at his feet at well. He has a decent range of passing, also decent vision, but nowhere near top class, good enough for a Prem team, but not good enough, on its own, to nail down a place.
His lack of mobility can be a real weakness when played in a deeper role attempting to protect the defence. At his best he is a battering ram, put up against an opposing defence, holding up balls that are hit up to him.
The problem he has is his temperament, with stamps, high kicks and particularly elbows a normal part of his game.
The use of the arm and elbow to ensure he wins a header is a very major part of his game, something he is expert in. In that respect he is very reminiscent of John Fashanu, who was also extremely good at using his elbows to keep opposition defenders at bay.
There is more to Marouane Fellaini than simply being a big battering ram to hoof the ball up to though, which is why he was able to hold on to his place in the Man Utd team. He does provide a decent option to the Red Devils, it is just that sadly for him he is not quite good enough to be the lynchpin of a team looking to be competitive in the Champions League.
Overall, Fellaini is a very good player, but just stops short of being quite good enough for Manchester United and Belgium to be competitive at the top level of the game. Yes he weighs in with goals, he is excellent in the air, he does offer more than just the hair and height, but he lacks the mobility and quality to run a midfield.
Written by Tris Burke
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