David Moyes insisted that Marouane Fellaini is finally starting to justify his £27.5m price tag.
After missing out on Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas last summer, the Manchester United manager decided to boost his midfield ranks by signing Fellaini from his old club Everton.
A few eyebrows were raised at the price – especially as the midfielder had been available for £4m less earlier in that transfer window – but, having worked with the Belgian for five years, Moyes was convinced he had the right man.
However, Fellaini has struggled to live up to expectations since his move to Old Trafford. The 26-year-old scored 32 goals for Everton, but he is yet to find the net at United, while some of his passing displays have been forgettable.
The Spanish newspaper AS was so unimpressed by Fellaini’s performance in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich in the Champions League that it did not deem the tall midfielder to be worthy of a mark out of 10 in their match report.
Like Fellaini, Moyes has found the switch from Goodison Park to Old Trafford tough, but the United manager is sure the 6ft 4in midfielder is starting to show his worth.
“It’s not an easy move coming to Manchester United, as I can tell you,” Moyes said. “For Marouane, I think it’s proved equally as difficult, but I have to say I think he has done a lot of good things and he has improved.
“I actually thought Marouane got better as the game went on [against Bayern]. We needed him and I thought he played very well.
“He did well in the Villa game too. I think he is getting much closer to scoring.
“We bought Marouane Fellaini not to play every single game in the Premier League. We have bought him for several games. He did a great job at West Ham, against Aston Villa and against Bayern.”