Arsenal fans’ initial reaction to David Moyes’ Manchester United exit was almost certainly negative.
The move allows the soon-to-be-dethroned champions first crack at managers that will be on their shopping list too if Arsene Wenger departs, and gives them a better chance of rivalling the Gunners for a top-four finish next season.
However, another consequence of the former Everton tactician’s dismissal is that it increases the likelihood of Marouane Fellaini following him out of Old Trafford before 2014/15 gets underway.
The imposing midfielder may well have been cut loose anyway having failed to impress since his £27.5m arrival from Everton last December.
The 11 Premier League starts that the 26-year-old has been afforded since following his boss from Merseyside to Manchester suggest that even the Scot – who is 5/4 to be succeeded by Louis van Gaal – had lost faith in his former favourite.
Fellaini had political value though as Moyes’ first big-money signing, so the Red Devils might have resisted cashing in if they were persevering with Moyes for fear of branding his major purchase a flop.
With that no longer a concern, the potential for a parting heightens and is perhaps beneficial to both parties – Man Utd will want to rebuild the midfield in the new manager’s image and the Belgian may be equally eager for a fresh start.
Arsenal appeared an ideal home for the funky-haired destroyer when the idea of him leaving Everton was discussed last year, and the north Londoners still need reinforcement at the base of their midfield.
Mikel Arteta has been hit and miss in the second half of the campaign, while both he and Mathieu Flamini – not to mention surprise short-term acquisition Kim Kallstrom – are in their 30s.
An underwhelming few months at Man Utd when in and out of the side, troubled by injury and surrounded by disinterested underachievers shouldn’t see Fellaini written off, especially after excelling across three positions for five years prior to that at Everton.
The fact that the fee will be closer to the £15m that the Toffees paid than the £27.5m that his current employers splurged should further entice Arsenal.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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