Van Gaal told the midfielder to prove his place at Old Trafford, and the Belgian has been on fire this season.
Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini was David Moyes’ major signing during the Scotsman’s short managerial reign at Old Trafford – and the former Everton star failed tremendously to live up to the mammoth £27.5m price-tag last season.
Nevertheless, since Louis van Gaal’s arrival in the summer, Fellaini has been a revelation; and the 27-year-old pays credit to a talk with the new boss at the beginning of the campaign – in which the former Netherlands manager fired him up by saying: “prove to me you can play”.
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“[van Gaal] told me: ‘Prove to me you can play in the team’. Of course I was worried when I saw all the new players coming in. But I have qualities as well,” the Belgian was quoted by The Sun
“I know I can play for United so I work hard. I show myself and I prove to the manager I can play.
“I have total respect for the manager because of everything he has achieved.
“It is a real honour to play for a manager like him. I am learning every day and becoming a better player.
“This season I have played some good games against good teams. I have to continue like that. I’m happy at the moment. I’m confident and the team is doing well.”
The Red Devils faithful will be looking for performances of the highest-standards by the current crop at Old Trafford, including the Belgium international, as they face a battle for a top-four position – after failing to qualify for the Champions League last season, no such mistakes are likely to be taken lightly this season.