Marouane Fellaini is “horrible” to play against, admits Steven Gerrard, with the Belgium international proving to be a useful Plan B for Manchester United.
The Red Devils have been stung by the news that Paul Pogba is facing up to a lengthy spell on the sidelines, with Jose Mourinho conceding that a hamstring injury is set to keep him out “long term”.
United have turned to Fellaini to help fill that void, with the versatile 29-year-old taking on a familiar role in the middle of the park.
He has once again justified that show of faith, netting twice on his most recent outing against Crystal Palace – as the Red Devils swept to another 4-0 win in the Premier League .
Liverpool legend Gerrard, who came up against Fellaini on several occasions during his playing days, concedes that the Belgian is a nightmare to handle and has silenced his Old Trafford critics in style.
He told BT Sport : “He’s horrible [to play against].
“He’s a handful, even when he was at Everton, he was a little bit further forward.
“He used to back in, get flick-ons, hold the ball up.
“The key here is that the manager loves him.
“He’s always going on record praising him.
“I think he’s been quite clever keeping him as a Plan B because sometimes you can try all the class and all the nice bits, but sometimes you need to go ugly, you need to go direct, you need to have a Plan B.
“He’s certainly Manchester United’s Plan B and he’s very effective.”
Fellaini now has four goals for the season, having previously netted against Leicester and in a Champions League clash with Basel.
United are not in action again until October 14, with domestic competition entering another international break, but Fellaini could be an important weapon for Mourinho once again when the Red Devils head to Anfield to take on arch-rivals Liverpool.