In July, Louis van Gaal teased the arrival of a “surprise” mystery striker who might not even be a striker. For a solid month, fans and pundits have tried to figure out the answer to this transfer window riddle to no avail. But now, Van Gaal has finally revealed that the surprise was the fact that the non-striker mystery striker has been on the team all along and that he is midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
From the Guardian:
Last year Fellaini scored seven times and Van Gaal is clear the 27-year-old can offer a threat in attack. “He can play in a 9 position and in a 10 but also 6 and 8 but this year he shall play more 10 and 9 than 6 and 8 because there [in midfield] we have more players,” he said.
Fellaini is ready to operate up front. “In the past I played No10 and No9 sometimes when I had to help the team,” he said. “It’s not important where I play, it’s important to win the game. It’s different playing midfielder and striker or No10 but I enjoy all the positions I can play.”
So how did it come to this? Well, Van Gaal and Man United CEO Ed Woodword seem to have realized what a cruel place the transfer market is. With a number of high-profile misfires in pursuit of top players over the last two years, you can understand why Van Gaal might throw a stapler at the wall and shout “Fine! Fellaini is a striker now!” in frustration after seeing Pedro end up at Chelsea and score 20 minutes into his first appearance.
This could just be the beginning of Man United repurposing what they already have in order to avoid further embarrassment in the transfer market. Maybe they can turn Chicharito into a defender. And if Wayne Rooney gets hurt, they can replace him with an exceptionally large potato from the kitchen.