Potential Consequences: Marouane Fellaini leaving Manchester United

After a contract struggle that dragged on across months of last season, Marouane Fellaini is reportedly expected to depart Manchester United on a free transfer at the end of the week.

The Belgian international, who is currently at the World Cup and could face England in the final round of matches in Group G on Thursday, has never been the most popular player during his five years at Old Trafford.

That means that United fans will likely be non-plussed about his departure, although they would surely like to recoup some cash for him as opposed to being forced to let him leave on a free transfer.

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However, when there’s a departure from a football club, there will always be consequences and Football FanCast have taken a closer look at those that could come on the back of Fellaini’s release from Old Trafford…

Jesse Lingard becomes a central midfielder

Obviously, the players are not on the same level but Jesse Lingard could take inspiration from Kevin de Bruyne across the city in terms of a positional reinvention.

Gareth Southgate is currently deploying Lingard in a similar attacking number eight role to the one that de Bruyne plays in for Manchester City and that means that the Englishman is an option to do similar for United once Fellaini leaves.

Jose Mourinho may be tempted to recruit a replacement for Fellaini, but Lingard is currently showing out in Russia that he can drop in and fill the gap, offering an upgrade in terms of quality in the process.

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Scott McTominay flourishes

McTominay is not the flashiest young central midfielder around but his discipline and willingness to keep it simple impressed Mourinho to the extent that he named him as his player of the year at the club’s end of season awards.

Fellaini’s departure should shunt the man who has declared to play for Scotland up the midfield pecking order and if Mourinho wants a tall, disciplined midfielder to carry out a tactical task, there will now only be one option to call upon.

McTominay impressed United fans in his debut senior season and Fellaini’s departure would really give him the opportunity to kick on.

Milinkovic-Savic stays at Lazio

It may seem odd to rule out a major midfield swoop in the wake of a departure in the same area, but it is important to remember that Fellaini is leaving for nothing.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is valued at £81.5m by Transfermarkt and when there is no fee coming in, that would be a huge amount of money to pay out to replace a squad player, in a summer where United have already spent big on Fred.

Lingard and McTominay are two academy products who can ably cover the loss of Fellaini and that would be viewed as a major step in the right direction by Mourinho in the eyes of the fans, who love seeing young players do well and frankly, did not like Fellaini.