Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is out of contract this summer, although United are still trying to tie him down to a new deal. The Belgian international has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford and surprisingly Arsenal have been named as a potential destination on a number of occasions.
He’s set to reveal his decision at the start of June, but given his limited ability, lofty wage demands and unsuitability in the current Arsenal squad, why do the Gunners continue to be linked with him? Why would Fellaini be deemed a good signing to strengthen the squad?
Arsenal are set to lose Jack Wilshere this summer, as the English playmaker confirmed he would be leaving at the end of his contract. The Gunners have tried to tie him down to a long-term deal, but Wilshere has opted to exit as he wasn’t given assurances from new manager Unai Emery that he would feature regularly next season.
Arsenal were expected to sign a replacement for the midfielder, but Fellaini wouldn’t be the right move. The 30-year-old is the antithesis for a place like Wilshere. He’s more physical and limited than the departure Gunner and doesn’t have the same cultured style in possession, nor the off-the-ball movement to make space for himself.
Emery has shown at former club Paris Saint-Germain that he likes strong midfielders to control the middle of the park, a role that Fellaini may suit on paper, but the United man wouldn’t be up to the task as he’s not comfortable on the ball, nor athletic enough for any type of pressing game Arsenal employ next season.
Let alone Fellaini not being a worthy replacement for Wilshere, he wouldn’t dethrone any of the existing Arsenal midfielders on merit. The 30-year-old was barely used by United last season, racking up just five Premier League starts, so he’d never stand a chance of getting in ahead of Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka or Mohamed Elneny.
Arsenal are close to signing Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira too, so he’d provide even more competition for the Belgian international. The Gunners have a lot of positions to fill and not a lot of money this summer, so they’ll want to find value in the transfer market – Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus on a free transfer – but Fellaini wouldn’t be a smart purchase.