Manchester United once again offered an impressive display in the English Premier League. The Red Devils remain undefeated at home after thumping Crystal Palace to the tune of a huge 4-0 win, and several players offered excellent displays. Marcus Rashford looked dangerous on the wing, Juan Mata finally scored, and Romelu Lukaku was a constant threat upfront. However, the undisputed star of the game was Marouane Fellaini.
The Belgian tower netted two goals, and once again emerged as a reliable, game-changing presence in the middle of the pitch. For the first time in quite a while, we were able to see the Fellaini that dazzled in Everton and that emerged as one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League only a few years ago. But if we look at his performances over the past weeks, we can see that the Belgian international has been nothing short of impressive. And it’s time fans start recognizing him a bit more due to his contributions and not just his hairstyle.
The Numbers Back Fellaini’s Impressive Season
The numbers do not lie. Fellaini struggled to break into the first team at the beginning of the season, but he has been unstoppable once he got it going. Fellaini already has four goals in the past five matches, and has been the team’s best player in the past two league games against Southampton and Crystal Palace. But he does far more than just scoring.
Even though Fellaini’s uptick in his playing time is directly related to Paul Pogba’s hamstring injury, it would be foolish to say Fellaini has not earned his right to start on a weekly basis. He has transformed into a great partner for Nemanja Matic in midfield, as both players tend to outmuscle the opposing playmakers with relative ease. But considering Fellaini’s tendencies to move forward, he has been a constant attacking force as well. Not only for his scoring run, but because he usually ends in scoring position during most plays.
Fellaini has been thriving defensively as well. He remains a big aerial threat on the box. And he can win duels against virtually any player in the Premier League.
Fans tend to dislike Fellaini. He never looked like the player who dazzled at Everton, and most fans sindicated him as the scapegoat during the tumultous David Moyes era. But he looks different this year. Perhaps he does not have the pressure of being a star anymore. Perhaps he is more comfortable on a secondary role. Or maybe he is just on a good run of form at the moment.
Whatever the case is, Fellaini has been one of the team’s best players of late. And fans need to start appreciating him as he deserves it.