Move to Manchester United could damage Moyes’ reputation

Marouane Fellaini, Everton

After losing his final game in charge to Chelsea, David Moyes has finally finished his Everton career. The Scotsman has been at Goodison Park since 2002, where despite having a limited budget, he finished in the top half in all but two of his full seasons at the club. Some called him an overachiever, which is debatable. But what can’t be debated is his loyalty to the club, and ability as a manager. Both of which have helped him become the new Manchester United manager, and somehow try to replace Sir Alex Ferguson.

Moyes is reuniting with Wayne Rooney, who he sold to United in 2004. But he may not be working with the striker for long. After Rooney handed in a transfer request, the rumours have started of who Moyes will be bringing to the club ahead of his first season in charge. One of the first players being linked is Everton’s Marouane Fellaini. The Mirror and reporting that Moyes will offer his old club £24million for the Belgian. But would the 50-year-old manager be leaving his old club high and dry, whilst damaging his fantastic relationship with Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright?

By the end of his 11-year spell at Everton, Moyes had split fans. Some loved him, some weren’t too disappointed to see him leave for Old Trafford. But the same wouldn’t be said if Fellaini was to follow suit. A fans favourite, the big Belgian was the club’s top scorer this season, putting away 11 league goals. And whilst Moyes may not be missed by the entire of Goodison Park, fans will be pleading with Fellaini not to leave them. Afro wigs are seen at both home and away matches by fans, who despite his poor discipline, love their number 25. If Moyes was to persuade Fellaini to join him at United, he will be increasing the amount of Everton fans who dislike him.

Fellaini is one of the club’s most important players too. Although Leighton Baines has had a terrific season, creating over 100 chances and picking up the club’s Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year awards, Fellaini is the focal point of Everton’s game plan. The tall Belgian is used as a target man at set pieces, as well as playing in a variety of positions. The 25-year-old has been deployed as a holding midfielder, a number 10 just behind the striker, and a lone figure up front for the Toffees this season. The muscly utility player is who the team rely on when they need a goal late in a match, and who they aim for at corners or free kicks. Everton’s main threat going forward, he would be sorely missed if he left.

It would be a kick in the teeth for the fans who liked Moyes, to then see their former manager steal their best attacking option. Although the club would benefit from the £24million, we have seen in the past that not all of the money Kenwright receives from transfers is available to spend on a replacement. Everton may get over £20million for Fellaini, but only half of that may become available for the new manager. Next season is always going to be unpredictable without Moyes, but without Fellaini too, Everton will go into next season with very few assurances. They may have Baines, Pienaar and Osman, but all of whom fit around Moyes’ game plan of Fellaini. Without a lead attacking option, the club will have to get their replacement spot on in the summer, with a lot of pressure put on the shoulders of chief executive Robert Elstone, and the new manager.

Bill Kenwright may be quite disappointed with Moyes too. The Toffees chairman was visibly upset when he announced that Moyes would be leaving the club for Old Trafford, once again illustrating their fantastic relationship. But after all the hard work Moyes had done to build Kenwright’s team into a top Premier League side, it will hurt Kenwright to see the now United boss attempt to complete a move that will be so damaging to Everton. Moyes wanted only the best for the Goodison Park club, but a move for Fellaini would damage them greatly, and his relationship with his former chairman.

The Toffees will have a big enough change to make in the summer. The players, staff and fans must get used to a new manager at the club, and a different style of football. But without Fellaini, Kenwright will be busy looking for new players as well as new first team boss. The fans will have a different squad with a new style to get used to, whilst Moyes and Fellaini live it up at the top of the Premier League table. The club still have top quality players, but gone will be the reassurances that Moyes and Fellaini bring, leaving a cloud of doubt of how the club will do next season.

Moyes did a fantastic job at Everton. Some fans will be pleased the Scotsman is leaving, some will be disappointed. But after working so hard to put the club in such a promising position, his reputation with the fans and chairman will take a blow if he was to try and take one of their prize assets with him, leaving the club without their top scorer.

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