While the mention of either is probably enough to make you roll your eyes right now such has been the broadband devoted to them both, let’s just ask ourselves one question about the latter- I’ll leave you to read the other 500 articles on the merits of signing Baines- is Fellaini really needed?
The idea seems to be that Marouane Fellaini would be just what the Reds need in midfield, either sitting alongside Michael Carrick allowing the player of the season to focus more on the creating aspect of his game or being the box-to-box type we all want Anderson to be.
All this sounds lovely except it ignores several key things: first of all we have a player who can develop next season into something just as effective as Fellaini if given the chance in that position in Phil Jones. Yes, I realise Blackburn’s finest may have a future in the heart of our defence, but with Rio set to sign a new deal, Nemanja Vidic going nowhere and a certain Jonny Evans – not to mention Chris Smalling available, next season won’t be the one for Jones to be a constant in our back four. The second reason we don’t need Fellaini is quite simply he isn’t good enough. That may sound harsh, after all he’s just scored eleven league goals in 31 games for the Toffees but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’d elevate the United side. Kevin Nolan scored ten league goals this season, would he make the starting line up for United? Of course not. I understand Fellaini offers more than just goals, but is he a player who’d really take us to another level, or simply prevent someone more needed from starting in the side? There’s a big difference to being an effective player for Everton and United- just ask Darron Gibson, and while I’ve no doubt Fellaini could ‘do a job’ in a Red shirt, so can Jones and arguably a much better one. As if that wasn’t enough, Fellaini isn’t going to be cheap- he cost Everton £15 million so they’d at least want more than that back, this is money that could be better spent elsewhere- maybe towards a big money signing that could really elevate the side.
Given a more prominent role in midfield next season Jones would allow the likes Shinji Kagawa to focus on his attacking qualities ‘in the hole’ whereas Fellaini may not be a perfect fit for a midfield that features the diminutive Japanese star. Jones has shown signs of what he can do in the centre of the park and if he’s given more of a chance there next season he could prove to be the difference between a good season and a great one.
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