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Marouane Fellaini – from box-to-box midfielder to feared striker!

Posted by Tomáš Molnár




From primary school to the first contract

Born in Belgium to Moroccan parents, Marouane was led to football by his father, former Raja Casablanca goalkeeper. The secret about him is that he used to run to school in his boyhood times instead of taking a bus. Fortunately it was his father who brought young lad to the football world. During first seasons as a kid, he scored dozens of goals per season, proving he has killer instinct. But that was not the only quality he had – physical strength and aerial abilities were much more interesting. So he signed his first professional contract at the age of 17, with Belgium giants Standard Liege. In 2008, he was awarded with a Belgian Ebony Shoe, for the best player of African descent. (Not only) That opened the doors to his Premier League career.

Evolving in Everton

Despite his strength and preferred position in defensive midfield, he was often used as secondary striker. That versatility attracted the likes of Manchester United. When moving out of homeland, Everton were able to persuade the player, luring him for the Belgian record fee of 15 million of euros.

The player has become crowd’s hero, with haircut reminding us of Carlos Valderrama. The performances yielded into several awards for the player. Shockingly, at that time his uniqueness was denied by the club manager, David Moyes.

Luckily, Fellaini was more interested in playing football than in arguing about individual qualities with the boss.


Manchester United – back then and now

At the beginning of 2013-14 campaign, Fellaini came to United as a last call, taken from Everton by David Moyes with whom he reunited in his new club. He endured a terrible first season as he suffered from injuries and tried and failed to establish himself as a holding midfield player.

Recently, the Belgian has emerged as an attacking weapon under Van Gaal and national squad. He is nearly unbeatable in the air, extremely strong and aggressive in both defending and attacking roles.

According to Wayne Rooney speaking to Dailymail, ‘Last year was awful for him but in fairness he kept his head down, worked hard and come through that tough period,’ reflected Rooney.

‘He is showing now what he did at Everton and why Manchester United bought him.’

‘He is a quality player. He is a different option for us. It is starting to show on the pitch.’

Formerly hated guy is now a matter of fans chanting his name in their songs. That is because of all that hard work and modesty. Another key advantage is Marouane’s ability to stick to the role that manager just needs.


Future prognosis

Marouane Fellaini is still quite young, he scores important goals, but on average only once in 8 games. The future seems to be brighter – more attacking, more heading opportunities and more goals. Theoretically, if he remains fit, he has the potential to regularly score more than 10 goals per season in the Premier League. Belgium national football team is built of star players and there is a serious chance to win something at Euro 2016 with his homeland team, called ‘De Rode Duivels’ that means ‘Red Devils’. It is the same nickname as his current team, Manchester United, is labelled.

There are only a few players being capable to match muscular and aerial qualities of Etterbeek-born. Every game he plays in, the opponents are doubling him in personal marking. That creates opportunities to Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie to score.


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