The early season optimism following Everton’s good start to the Premier League campaign was dealt a shocking blow as Marouane Fellaini indicated he wanted to leave the club this year.
The midfielder, away on international duty with Belgium, told Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad that he was looking to leave the club at the end of this season, if not as early as the January transfer window.
Only time will tell whether the 24-year-old is actively seeking a move. It may not happen in the immediate future but unless he helps to take Everton into the Champions League it seems unlikely that he will see out the remainder of the five year contract he signed in November.
Chelsea and Real Madrid have both been linked with the former Standard Liege midfielder who’s man of the match performance against Manchester United will have generated further interest from Europe’s elite.
Should his claims come to fruition, Fellaini could have a number of Premier League suitors. Below I’ve taken a look at which clubs, should he want to remain in England, he may wish to join.
- Though technically sound Fellaini is not your typical Arsene Wenger player. However, following the departure of Alex Song, the Arsenal boss will want a defensive midfielder to provide the steel and security that will allow his attacking options to flourish. The Belgian’s combativeness would be invaluable to the Gunners as would his height and threat from set pieces.
- The sale of Raul Meireles and Michael Essien’s loan deal has left the Blues short on options in central midfield. Admittedly both Frank Lampard and Ramires can play there, but in terms of holding midfielders they only have young Oriol Romeu and John Obi Mikel. Despite being used in an attacking position for Everton, Fellaini has stated he prefers playing in a deeper role and Roberto Di Matteo may see him as an ideal signing.
- Money being no object, so why not? Fellaini will only leave Everton for Champions League football and league titles. Premier League clubs in a position to give him that already have an enviable list of attacking midfield talent. So again, City may desire his fitness, strength and tackling to strengthen their central midfield. Unlikely as they have signed Javi Garcia and Jack Rodwell but they have lost the aggression of Nigel De Jong so Fellaini could be an attractive proposition and he’s better than his former Everton team mate.
- An intriging proposition. Sir Alex Ferguson is thought to be an admirer of the Belgian and his performance against United will only have impressed Fergie further. United’s midfield has been the object of much discussion and it certainly needs strengthening. With Shinji Kagawa and Tom Cleverly capable of fulfilling the creative role, Fellaini would provide the bite that Michael Carrick fails to do.
- Again, Fellaini will want a significant rise in ambitions should he leave Everton. Spurs have those ambitions but whether they can meet them in the way Chelsea and Man Utd are equipped to do so remains to be seen. Equally do they need him? Dempsey, Dembele and Sigurdsson fulfil attacking midfield roles while Sandro and Scott Parker offer defensive protection. They may wish to spend the princely sum it would take to secure Fellaini’s services on other areas of the squad. So yes, it’s unlikely, but if he stays in the Premier League and bigger clubs don’t come calling, then maybe.