Expert: Fellaini will be a welcoming addition to CSL
Sports Scene
01:15

As Manchester United have confirmed the departure of midfielder Marouane Fellaini to the Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng on Friday, all eyes will be on the talismanic Belgian midfielder when he arrives in China.

Mark Dreyer, a renowned Chinese football expert and founder of China Sports Insider, spoke to CGTN Sports Scene about the latest addition to the already growing CSL. He opined, “He is obviously a pretty distinctive player. He has lost the long hair he had in the past but he is a very tall player and certainly he is pretty distinctive on the field. He is known as pretty solid. It does depend on how they are going to use him. He has played upfront in the past and then perhaps he can be a target man to knock down some long balls and work with the other front strikers they are having.

Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Aon Training Complex on January 16, 2019, in Manchester, England. /VCG Photo

Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Aon Training Complex on January 16, 2019, in Manchester, England. /VCG Photo

He also felt, “Shandong have options as he is a versatile player. I think he will be welcomed by the fans in China. He was a bit of a polarizing figure in Manchester United. Some people thought he was very hard and they were happy with his skills. I think he will be a welcoming addition to the league.”

The deal marked the end of the Belgian midfielder's chequered career at the Premier League team, and United did not provide financial details of the transfer in a short statement where they thanked the 31-year-old for his services in five-and-a-half seasons at the club.

Fellaini joined United in 2013 and his signing by his former Everton boss David Moyes was hardly greeted with enthusiasm by United fans, already underwhelmed by the choice of successor to Alex Ferguson.

Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini in action with Reading's John Swift during the FA Cup Third Round on January 5, 2019. /VCG Photo

Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini in action with Reading's John Swift during the FA Cup Third Round on January 5, 2019. /VCG Photo

Dreyer also mentioned, “He is 31 now. In fact, he got several years left and thus, I think he will be a very, very good player at the Chinese Super League level. So it's definitely good for the fans as he brings a name and recognition after being played for Manchester United for five-and-a-half years.”

“Obviously, he is very well-known figure. He was one of the very top names from United. I think fans will be excited to see him on the field and hopefully, they will turn up to see him play,” he added.