Manchester United vs QPR: Marouane Fellaini vows to fight for his place after surviving United's summer of change

No fewer than 13 players have left United since Van Gaal arrived at Old Trafford but Fellaini remained with the club and has set his sights on a first-team spot

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The Independent Online

Manchester United’s out-of-favour midfielder Marouane Fellaini has promised to fight for his place despite falling out of favour at Old Trafford after surviving the chop during a summer of turnover at the club.

Fellaini arrived at the club last summer in a £27m move that has so far failed to pay off. The Belgium international was close to a move to Napoli this summer, and when reports emerged claiming Louis van Gaal was ready to offload the failing midfielder, his brief time at United appeared to be up.

However, Fellaini remained at the club beyond the transfer deadline and has now set his sights on forcing his way into a side that does lack quality in the heart of the midfield.

“I want to fight for my place,” said Fellaini. “The coach wants to play with the 11 players who make the best team. I want to be part of that.

 

“I've had a meeting with the coach before the start of the season where he told me that there is a lot of competition in midfield. I told him that I wanted to compete with the other players for a place in the starting XI.

“Louis van Gaal is a good coach. We have a lot of team meetings and he analyses much - other teams, our own players at training, a lot. Everywhere he has been, he was successful.”

The problem for Fellaini though is that he will have to change his role in the team should he want to secure a regular starting berth given the quality of players that are currently ahead of him in the pecking order.

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With Radamel Falcao arriving on a season-long loan, it appears Wayne Rooney could be shifted back to a No 10 role behind the Colombian and Robin van Persie, and that could result in Juan Mata having to make do with a place on the bench – something that led him to leave his former club Chelsea.

With the likes of Rooney, Mata and youngster Adnan Januzaj preferred in the advanced central role, Fellaini would need to show that he can fill one of the two holding positions in the centre-midfield, meaning he would need to out-perform Ander Herrera, Darren Fletcher, Daley Blind and Michael Carrick once the England international is fit again.

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A young Manchester United fan shows his support for Marouane Fellaini

Blind looks set to be thrust into the United team for this Sunday’s Premier league fixture against Queens Park Rangers, where Van Gaal will be desperate to secure his first competitive victory since taking the reins at United.

Having lost on the opening day to Swansea City, United have only managed draws against Burnley and Sunderland as well as the embarrassing 4-0 defeat to MK Dons in the League Cup. Anything other than a win against QPR will see the unwelcome pressure on Van Gaal’s shoulders ramp up, and even if they manage to see off Rangers they will still be two points short of where the club were at the same point last season under David Moyes.

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