Marouane Fellaini is far from the most popular player at Manchester United, but does he deserve the masses of criticism that he receives? According to former United midfielder Roy Keane, the Belgian has become a scapegoat for the United fans to dish blame to on the back of poor team performances.
Keane is not one to shy away from stating a controversial opinion, and he believes the £27.5m-man gets far more than he deserves in terms of criticism.
“I like Fellaini, I thought the criticism he had when he went to United was a bit over the top. I think it was just because he came in at the last-minute when David Moyes was there and fans were maybe quick to jump on his back,” he told the Telegraph.
“I saw him a few times live, when United weren’t great, and thought he did okay. But he seemed to be the scapegoat for the fans.”
Fellaini played an important role in United’s FA Cup victory in the 2015/16 season, scoring the winner in the quarter-final replay against West Ham and scoring against his former club Everton in the semi-final at Wembley.
Keane touched on this, and went on to explain that because results did not change for the better after David Moyes brought him in on transfer deadline day in 2013, he was perhaps seen as someone to blame for the poor performances.
“We saw him recently scoring some important goals. I like him. I liked him at Everton and I think he’s a good player for Manchester United. The criticism he’s had – I think he’s more of a scapegoat than anything else.
“Which can happen when a new manager brings in certain players and the new signings get criticism (when results are not being delivered),” said the ITV pundit.
“If anything, they should have been criticising the experienced players at United who weren’t helping him out or who weren’t helping out the new manager. But that’s another story.”