In a recent interview, Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellani revealed that he thought that he would leave the team last summer.

Fellani revealed this when asked whether the thought of transferring to another team crossed his mind after his first year with United. “Yes, but I have a contract. I talked with the new manager and he told me I have to show him, prove to him. I accept that.”

The 27-year old midfielder moved to Old Trafford from Everton in 2013, where he followed former mentor David Moyes, who became United’s manager in the same year. However, Fellani had a difficult first year, as he was having a hard time creating an impression, while the team also had a not so spectacular season under Noyes.

When Moyes left the next year to be with Real Sociedad, Fellani’s future with United became uncertain. The arrival of new manager Louis van Gaal added to the doubt, as Napoli opened negotiations to acquire the midfielder, but the talks never pushed through.

Despite the initial setback, Fellani persevered and established himself as one of the key players in van Gaal’s squad. “I am a footballer so I like that competition. I said I will fight for my place and then we will see at the end of the season,” he said of his newfound presence in the team.

Fellani has become so essential to van Gaal’s plays that even opponents acknowledge it. during the team’s match against Chelsea last week, the Blues manager Jose Mourinho had center-back kurt Zouma specifically challenge him. “It’s a good compliment, but it was difficult, because all game the guy was on me and I couldn’t play,” he said of the matchup.

Fellani also acknowledged the influence that Moyes had in his development as a player. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now David Moyes is in Spain, so if I came here it would be different. We were together. People saw us like that. Of course I feel sorry for him, but it’s over now.”

Paul Koroma

I learned all about life with a ball at my feet. Soccer allows me to push the limitation of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train. I play, and I repeat every single day.

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