Why This £25m Star Could Mark The End Of Juan Mata At Manchester United

Manchester United’s last game against West Bromwich Albion caused a serious heartache to many Old Trafford fans despite the fact that manager Louis van Gaal stated that it was the club’s best outing since he took over at the club. The Red Devils conceded a goal very early in the match and it did threaten their flow of play at the Hawthorns.

The Manchester United boss opted for a 2-midfileder option with 2 other wingers operating from the flanks and as such he deployed Ander Herrera just ahead of Daley Blind. The Spaniard obviously weakened by the effect of the injury spell he recently recovered from, was a shadow of his former self, hence it was just a flood gate of attacks from the home team.

Notwithstanding, the Red Devils rallied and they strung a couple of passes together but the inefficacy of the attackers upfront made sure that those efforts never came to fruition. However, one of the more interesting highlights of the match was when Louis van Gaal whispered something to Marouane Fellaini, the replay confirmed that the manager was bringing to the Belgian’s notice a mistake that Herrera made and so it wasn’t surprising to see the lanky midfielder came on for Herrera in the second half.

He supplied some bustling energy into the fray and after about eight minutes of his involvement, powered in an equalizer to keep Manchester United in the game. The late come-back that the Red Devils mounted rested mainly on the doggedness of the Belgian midfielder and Radamel Falcao, and this has prompted many pundits to opine that had Fellaini started the game, then Louis van Gaal could have bagged his first away victory since his arrival at Old Trafford.

What beats many keen observers is how Marouane Fellaini who was so uninspiring last term and in fact almost joined Italian outfit Napoli this recent summer suddenly rejuvenated into a midfield enforcer cum match winner for the same team that almost cast him away. Although same thing is happening to Rafael, but he is a lone ranger in his position at least for now, that is not the case with Fellaini. It appears that the Belgian is better suited in the attacking-midfield position, the same position that is keenly contested by the trio of Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj. On a good day the manager will opt to play captain Rooney behind a striking duo of Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie, but if van Persie keeps up his ineptitude, the manager might just move Rooney up with Falcao and then a spot would have been freed up for any of the other three midfielders including Fellaini.

Whatever Louis van Gaal eventually decides, it will not change the fact that Fellaini, if given more game time, will prove more of an asset than many presently give him credit for, and if he keeps churning out good performances, then the manager will continue to field him and that could spell doom for Juan Mata, whose performance has been hardly encouraging.

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