Manchester United will be without Marouane Fellaini for Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Spartak Moscow, apparently due to a rough tackle from Southampton striker Shane Long.
The Irish International lunged at the Belgian and left the midfielder with a knock, although he was able to continue. Man United held on for the win but the player, whom Jose Mourinho feels he is weaker without, will not be in involved in Russia as a result.
According to the Irish Independent, the club are unhappy the Irish striker went unpunished for the incident further incensing the club when Mourinho himself was sent off for encroaching the pitch, although that dismissal was overturned on Monday.
They believe had Fellaini been the guilty party and fouled Long the incident would not have gone unpunished, with the midfielder earning the reputation of an aggressive player who likes to use his elbows to his advantage.
The Belgian has been in excellent form for the club this season, moving ahead of Ander Herrera in the midfield pecking order following a hamstring injury picked up by Paul Pogba. His form has started to win over many fans who had struggled to take to him following his £27.5 million move from Everton in 2013 unfairly taking the blame for being David Moyes’s only summer signing following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson that summer.
Despite the fact ex-Manchester United managers David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal, along with Mourinho, all found the controversial midfielder to be a useful squad member.
Mourinho suggested in the summer that it would be easier for Galatasaray to sign himself than to sign Fellaini after the Turkish side were linked with a summer move.
The player is out of contract at the club next summer with Mourinho hoping the player will stay long term.
Following the players absence from the draw with Stoke City recently, the only game Manchester United have dropped points and conceded goals in the Premier League, his manager said:
“He’s an important player for me – a lot more important than you can imagine.”
“I feel weaker without Fellaini in my squad, doesn’t matter if it’s on the pitch or on the bench. If his conditions are improved, he will be selected, I need him.”
Given those comments the Belgian will be missed in Moscow on Wednesday as Manchester United look to extend their lead on top of group A.
Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena