There will be life after Fellaini
There has been a bit of mischief making in the press this week, with the tabloids seemingly irked by the fact that Everton are doing well and upsetting the establishment. For instead of focusing on how the Toffees are riding high in fourth place, with just one defeat all season, the media have decided instead to rehash some three-month old quotes and declare that Marouane Fellaini is off in January.
November 16th, 2012
The tall Belgian has been imperious this season, revelling in his advanced role to help form the axis by which the rest of Everton’s attacks are based. His progression has understandably caught the eye of other clubs, while Fellaini himself has made very public his desire to compete at the very top. That means the Champions League, a competition Everton have never played in.
Fellaini’s comments while on international duty back in August hinted that he was ready to quit the club, having achieved all he could. The 24-year-old was warned and fined for his words, but speculation about his future has raged ever since, with papers digging up those comments to suggest he is set to quit in two months’ time. Speaking to the BBC last weekend he freely admitted he wanted to play in the Champions league, but would like that to be with Everton.
The Toffees have their greatest chance to breach the top four since they actually did just that in 2005. Their ‘slow starters’ tag has been brushed aside and while rivals are showing signs of inconsistency, there is a fluidity and style about David Moyes’ men at present. Would Fellaini really quit in January if Everton were still in such a lofty position?
I highly doubt it.
But even if the worst did happen, the relaxed demeanor of David Moyes over the situation, and echoed by the supporters, speaks volumes.
Fellaini has three and a half years on his contract, so should he decide to leave next summer Everton will be in a healthy bargaining position, with talk of a £30million valuation. If a desperate club wants to buy him in January, then add £5million to that fee.
If David Moyes has proven one thing during his time at Goodison it’s that he can work the transfer market. While Evertonians, used to seeing stars leave over the year, know that there will be life after Fellaini. Indeed, Moyes would be able to do some serious squad re-building with that cash, adding two, three four or even five decent players (Kevin Mirallas for example, looks a bigger bargain each day at just £6million).
I cannot deny that Fellaini’s departure would be a big blow, but it should not be seen as an inevitability just because the papers say so (the same news sources said Leighton Baines was ‘definitely’ off to Manchester United last summer).
But even if he does go, thanks to Moyes’ eye for a bargain and the wise decision to tie him down to a new contract, the prospect of a hefty transfer fee would soften the blow quite nicely.