There's a been a lot of negativity surrounding the big boned Belgian's transfer, with many Manchester United fans taking their ire out on the clunky, clumsy and altogether par-for-the-course product that Marouane Fellaini is. While it makes for an easy read, this is not necessarily true. While it's been clear for some time now that Fellaini was not David Moyes' preferred (first?) target, and that worries people, let's take a step back and evaluate the man's abilities with our midfield's needs.
I'll borrow heavily from two excellent pieces written a few months back by Gene Um, along with some recent stats from Everton's games this season. Please find the referenced articles here, here and here. Also, do note that this article looks past the boardroom and at the pitch/dressing room only. Transfer fees and bonuses have not been considered. (Yeah, that's a subtle way of saying I'm still not over the crap we pulled this summer.)
Looking at our pressing needs in midfield, we have:
- Someone to stand up to the Yaya Toures - someone with bite and power
- Someone to break up opposition plays proactively (Carrick is good in a more passive manner)
- Someone with energy to run around snapping at opposing players' feet
- Goals, goals, even a small number, from midfield.
- Be aware and open to receive passes
- Provide overloads in the final third, with usually quick passing
- Be aware when to push up, and when to fall back
- Take care of the ball when in possession