Mourinho: Fellaini is not Maradona but under me he's getting the credit he deserves

The midfielder has come in for criticism since arriving at Old Trafford, but his boss believes people are now recognising his worth

Jose Mourinho has said that Manchester United’s Maroune Fellaini “is not Maradona”, but feels the versatile Belgian is now getting the credit he deserves.

Fellaini scored the only goal of the match in midweek as the Red Devils struggled to overcome Swiss minnows Young Boys, proving his worth yet again for the Old Trafford side.

The midfielder has been under the microscope since arriving at United under David Moyes’ ill-fated spell as manager, but has scored important goals and played multiple key roles under his current boss.

Speaking on Friday ahead of his side’s Premier League clash with Southampton, the Portuguese was quick to praise the 31-year-old’s contributions.

“I think now he’s getting [the credit he deserves],” Mourinho said. “I think until I came [to Man Utd] he probably didn’t, but I think now everyone gives him what he deserves.

“Everybody knows Marouane is not Maradona but everyone knows what Marouane is and what he can give. In this moment, especially this season and also last season he did many times what strikers couldn’t do which is score goals in important moments.

“I know him very well and I know the positions he can play, the jobs he can do. This season you saw him as a third central defender against Burnley and you saw him as a striker and as a number eight, which is basically the position where Marouane has more balance and know how but he’s very important in both boxes, in the first third and in the last third.

“Now people know what Marouane is and he also feels that good feeling.” 

Another of Mourinho’s proven performers is Spain international David de Gea, whom the club recently tied down until 2020 after exercising their right to extend his contract for a further year.

Talks over a longer-term deal are in motion, however, according to the Portuguese boss, who feels that the 28-year-old is the best in the world in his position.

“He wants to stay, of course, I want him to stay of course, he’s the level of player Manchester United needs,” Mourinho went on.

“Manchester United needs the best players in the world, if we want to be Manchester United we need the best player in the world. We have the best goalkeeper in the world.

“Obviously, the manager wants him to stay, the board wants him to stay, David wants him to stay… his agent is not the kind of agent that is manipulative like others.

“His agent lets him think and decide by himself so the point is to agree the contract that the club wants to give and that the player wants to accept. 

“This is just my feeling, [but I think things are] going to finish well.”

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