Manchester United’s most expensive 2013 signing Marouane Fellaini must be the one remaining Red Devil unhappy with his side’s summer business under new boss Louis van Gaal.
Many football watchers expected the Belgium international to leave Old Trafford while Van Gaal was sorting his squad, with Rafa Benitez’s Napoli thought to be particularly keen to secure the 26-year-old’s services.
Fellaini remains with the 13-time Premier League champions though, and recent reports claim his new club coach has given assurances that the former Everton midfielder remains part of his plans.
Where he will play in United’s new-look side, however, is open to much debate.
The nominal midfielder featured in the ‘2’ of a 4-2-3-1 at the World Cup in four of Belgium’s five fixtures, and his next posting for Van Gaal is also likely to be in the centre of the park.
Spanish export Ander Herrera only managed 67 minutes for his new club before succumbing to injury in the Premier League opening-weekend loss at home to Swansea, so there are no guarantees that the 24-year-old will start against QPR at Old Trafford, with United 23/100 to win.
Fellaini came on for the Basque against the Swans, but injury also ruled him out of the Red Devils’ next three fixtures.
With Tom Cleverley now at Aston Villa, it looks between Fellaini, Daley Blind, Darren Fletcher, Herrera and Anderson for the two midfield spots.
The latter hasn’t started a Premier League game for almost a year, while Blind played at the back for Van Gaal and the Netherlands at the World Cup, so may well be lined up for left centre-half duties in a 3-4-1-2 by the ‘Iron Tulip’.
That leaves just Fellaini and Fletcher if Herrera is still out, which suggests the former will be required in midfield rather than as an attacker by Van Gaal.
In his last season at Goodison Park, Everton profited to the tune of 12 Fellaini goals in 36 all-competition matches, but with Juan Mata added to United’s forward ranks in January and Radamel Falcao now in situ up front, he’ll struggle to notch many this term.
That being said, Fellaini is 9/4 to mark his return to the United team with a goal against Harry Redknapp’s side.