Moyes: Fellaini’s a big asset
David Moyes has revealed that he targeted Marouane Fellaini in order to add something new to his midfield options at Manchester United.
The Belgian midfielder worked under Moyes for five years at Everton before reuniting with him at Old Trafford on transfer deadline day.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the manager explained the retirement of Paul Scholes and the continued absence of Darren Fletcher were key factors in his drive to bring Fellaini, 25, to the club this summer.
“He’s well known in the Premier League, experienced in the Premier League and he can do several different jobs,” said Moyes. “He can play different positions, score goals and is effective in different areas of the field. So I’m hoping that if he can continue to improve and does the same at Manchester United, we could have a really top player on our hands.
“He was someone who we pencilled in for a position here at Manchester United right from the start. We felt we could do with adding numbers; with Darren Fletcher’s illness and Paul Scholes retiring it meant we were short in that area of the field, so he was always one who was out there. We talked about it a lot and thankfully we got him here.
“I think when you get to the final day and that stage there’s always a bit of doubt; things can go wrong for different reasons and could easily have gone wrong in this one as well, but in the end it didn’t and thankfully we got him.
“We knew it [midfield] was an area of the field where we felt we had to strengthen. We had to try and get another central midfield player. But with Marouane being able to play a bit further on as well, it can give us different alternatives at different times if required.
A busy fixture schedule, in which United will play five games in a fortnight starting with the visit of Crystal Palace on Saturday, plus Fellaini’s versatility were also in the manager’s thinking when securing the midfielder’s services.
He added, “He’s someone who can play in several roles and I needed that. We got a lot of games coming up, a busy schedule, and I want to be able to play in different ways in different games so he helps me to do that.”
The manager also confirmed he wanted to sign not just one but two players in a double bid to his former club Everton – the other target being England international left-back Leighton Baines.
“We had chosen to do it the way we did because we wanted to try and get Leighton Baines,” said Moyes. “We didn’t want to give up on Leighton Baines until right at the last minute. We felt the best way to do that was to try and keep the two deals together, and only at the last minute did we split the deals. That was the way we chose to do it.”