Marouane Fellaini will “contribute” for Manchester United after signing a new two-year contract but can hardly be considered “the final piece” of a title-winning jigsaw, says Gary Neville.
After several months of uncertainty regarding his future plans, the Belgium international has committed his immediate future to the Red Devils by penning fresh terms.
He had been poised to drop into the free agent pool, with Premier League rivals Arsenal among those reported to be keen on acquiring the versatile performer.
Neville believes retaining the 30-year-old is good business for United, as he has proved to be a useful asset under Jose Mourinho, but more is required if a challenge for the Premier League crown is to be sustained in 2018-19.
The former Red Devils defender told Sky Sports: “Well he [Mourinho] wanted to keep him as a part of the club.
“There was talk about if he was leaving, from my point of view it wouldn’t have made too much difference.
“I don’t think he’s the final piece of the jigsaw which gets Manchester United back to winning the title.
“He is someone, who within a squad of 22 players, can contribute during a season.
“There’s always a lot of exposure of Marouane Fellaini in his position at Manchester United.
“The reality is he does contribute during the season - if they needed to go long in a game, he can do it.
“If he is part of a midfield pool of four or five players, then I’m satisfied with that.”
United have already bolstered their midfield ranks this summer with the £52.5 million ($70m) signing of Brazil international Fred.
They have, however, lost Michael Carrick to retirement, so further additions are expected.
Mourinho is currently away on punditry duty at World Cup 2018, though, with recruitment drives across the globe set to be stepped up once the action in Russia comes to a close.