Marouane Fellaini is “a modern day footballer” and “vital” to the Manchester United cause, says David Moyes.
The former Red Devils boss faced criticism in the summer of 2013 when he spent £27.5 million bringing the Belgium international with him to Old Trafford.
Fellaini had been a success at Everton, but his uncompromising style was considered to contradict United’s footballing philosophies.
The 29-year-old was given a tough time to begin with, as Moyes faltered and was eventually sacked, but has proved his worth over recent years, with both Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho often calling on him for the big occasion — with talk of a possible switch to Galatasaray having been quickly quashed this summer.
Moyes told ESPN FC: “Well, bringing Marouane Fellaini was part of what I hoped he would come to United and play in different games.
“He was never someone who was going to play in all the games at United. He was someone that was there, his size is a problem to the opposition. It's also something which helps you. Manchester United you've seen many times now have used him a more advanced role.
“I used to get criticism at Everton because we played him there. He's got brilliant chest control — taking it down with his chest, he's as good as anyone in the world actually and he's a good footballer, but he was never somebody who was going to come and play every single game.
“If you look at the games that he played under Louis van Gaal and now under Jose Mourinho, he's vital.
“He's a modern day footballer, he covers a lot of ground, he's a decent passer without being a great passer, he can get you some goals, he helps you out in both boxes with his stature and he was something which we didn't have at Manchester United and he was a player who was brought in to add to the squad.”
Moyes also put his faith in Wayne Rooney upon inheriting the United reins from Sir Alex Ferguson, with the England international handed a new long-term contract.
He has, however, been ushered through the exits by Mourinho, with his former boss of the opinion that Everton have got quite the bargain.
Moyes added: “I think it's a really good move for Everton. I think even at the end of Wayne's time at Manchester United he was still scoring goals so the one thing Wayne is, he's a brilliant finisher, a natural finisher.
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“He'll have to play differently now than he's done in the past, but I think it's a big thing for Everton as well. It shows that they're in business, they want to challenge the top teams and even if they get a good year out of Wayne, I think it's a good move to get Wayne back and I do think Wayne will score goals.
“I think it's the one thing he can do as well as anyone in the country, as his goalscoring record proves. He's got as good a goalscoring as anybody, if not better than everybody.
“So, I hope he does it for Everton and I think this year, I think it's a good move for Everton.”