Marouane Fellaini has endured, shall we say, a rather tumultuous career so far at Manchester United.
Ever since he joined as David Moyes’ poster boy, Fellaini has left fans questioning if he had the ability to come good on his £27m pricetag. His laboured approach drew fair criticism and he was unable to improve on them after he returned from injury in the new year.
After Moyes was sacked, Fellaini became a scapegoat for the failed Moyes reign, an unwanted reminder of how poor his reign was. Many expected he could have been sold by Louis van Gaal but he remained.
However, Fellaini has enjoyed a mini renaissance in the past two game weeks and it culminated with the Belgian being named United’s Man of the Match for his performance versus Chelsea.
Up against possibly the best central midfield pairing in the league in Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini more than stood his own ground.
Firm in the tackle, strong in the shoulder and filled with more energy in 90 minutes than his previous 12 months, Fellaini was instrumental in United earning a point from the game, least not as is rebounded header was what Robin van Persie rifled home for the goal.
Fellaini has now all but played himself into United’s starting XI to face Manchester City this weekend, even if Ander Herrera is fit. Rewind to how poor he was in the 2013/14 derby and it’s staggering to think most United fans would put him in the starting XI this time around out of choice.
Fair play to Fellaini. He has responded to the frankly ridiculous boos from some cliques of United supporters and their sarcastic applause at every touch by talking on the pitch.
Fellaini could have crumbled after such continuous criticism but he instead used it as energy to drive forward. Hopefully, he can now start giving those sorts of performances on a regular basis.