Marouane Fellaini said he is a defensive midfielder, despite his success in a more attacking role as he revived his Manchester United career. Fellaini had a key role to play at United this season, making 26 Premier League appearances and scoring six goals to help Louis van Gaal’s side to a top four finish. The towering Belgian was often deployed in a more attacking midfield role by Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal last season but suggests he enjoys being closer to the defenders.
Fellaini said: “I see myself as a defensive midfielder, I feel comfortable playing there and if the manager decides he wants to play me there, I will. At the moment I play more up front, so it’s good for me. I score goals so in football it’s important. I’m happy to play there and win some important games.”
Fellaini rose to prominence in the Premier League as a central attacking midfielder under Moyes’ watch at Everton. Following a £27.5 million move to United in the summer of 2013, the Belgian struggled to settle into life at Old Trafford but has impressed Van Gaal with with six goals in 26 appearances for the club last season. Fellaini was often a handful for opposition defenses in the second half of the season, scoring four of his six league goals from January onwards.
And he flourished for Moyes’ replacement, Louis van Gaal, much further up the field, occasionally even operating as a striker, as he cemented a place in the team and scored six goals to help United finish fourth. Fellaini said he is happy to operate in either position, but believes his natural role is nearer his own goal.
Regarding the adaptation to Louis van Gaal‘s style of play, Fellaini added: “Now we know how we work, his philosophy, how we have to play, how we have to think. So that’s why we won a lot of games in the last few months.” Fellaini, was a regular starter in a United side that started slowly in Van Gaal’s first season and picked up just 13 points from their first 10 league games of the campaign.
United finished 17 points behind champions Chelsea but Fellaini said that some additions will help them bridge the gap. “Of course we can catch Chelsea,” Fellaini added. “We have the quality, I think we will sign some new players, so why not? We have to. We have the quality and we are a big team, so we have to.”