Paul Ince believes that Louis van Gaal has given Marouane Fellaini the belief he was missing to turn around his Manchester United career.
The Belgian midfielder was the first signing of the ill-fated David Moyes era at Old Trafford, arriving in a last minute summer deal last year.
The switch was criticised heavily from the start, with the Red Devils having missed the deadline on a buy-out clause – close to £20m – in his then Everton contract, before paying an inflated £27.5m fee for his services.
Fellaini was then used, mainly, in a holding midfield role by Moyes, who had enjoyed great success with the 27-year-old as an unorthodox ‘No. 10’ at Goodison Park.
A disastrous opening 12 months led to talk of a move away from United during the last transfer window, before injury troubles scuppered a loan deal with Napoli.
Since then Fellaini has been welcomed back into Van Gaal’s injury-hit first-team squad, and has looked rejuvenated.
Ince believes that the Dutch manager has played a big role in the former Everton man’s revival, and that he deserves praise for getting him back on track:
“Manchester United is a massive, massive club and he went for such a lot of money that people were judging him too soon.” He told talkSPORT. “Sometimes it takes a while to get your feet under the table and understand what it is like to be a Manchester United player.
“You have to perform every week, you can’t get away with bad performances, and the early part of Fellaini’s stint at Man United he struggled.
“This year it seems Van Gaal has put belief in him, given him some confidence, and he is paying him back, that is for sure.”