Fellaini wants to be the next Roy Keane
New Manchester United signing Marouane Fellaini says he can emulate Roy Keane to become the defensive lynchpin in the team's midfield.
Manager David Moyes also revealed at the player's unveiling on Friday that United left it late to sign him from Everton as until that point they had been hoping to wrap up a deal to land Leighton Baines from Everton as well.
"Roy Keane was an aggressive player who could win every ball. Maybe I can do this as well," Fellaini said. "I can win the ball. I can clear the ball. I can play clean. The manager must decide where I play but I want to play defensive midfield. In the past they have had (Eric) Cantona, Keane, (David) Beckham. I hope (I can do it too). I will work hard for this."
With Fellaini having to wait all summer for his move to Old Trafford, the midfielder admits he started to doubt whether the deal was ever going to be completed.
“With the chairman at Everton you never know,'' he said. “Sometimes I think there is no chance for me to join Manchester United. But in the end I was so happy because the chairman accepted the deal.''
Fellaini was so desperate to force through a move to United that he gave up an estimated £4 million in wages and drove to Everton's training ground at Finch Farm to plead with manager Roberto Martinez to be allowed to leave.
“I talked with the manager,'' he said. “It was a big opportunity for me to join one of the biggest clubs in the world. I want to win trophies. I play football for this. With Manchester United I have a big chance to win something.
"The fee is not my problem. Whether it is £25 million, £30 million, £20 million. Expensive or not. In football there is always a situation where some people don't like you or your quality. I don't care about this. I just want to play well for the team.
"I already know it is quicker than Everton. They are a great club but Manchester United are a big team. But I am happy. I like the intensity. Now I just want to play."
Despite being linked with Fellaini for the majority of the transfer window, United were unable to complete the £27.5million transfer until just moments before the deadline.
The Red Devils drew criticism for the way they carried out their business over the summer, but Moyes has defended keeping the club’s fans waiting until the final hour.
“We had chosen to do it the way we did because we wanted to try and get Leighton Baines and we didn't want to give up on that until the last minute,'' Moyes said.
“We felt the best way to do that was to try and keep the two deals together. Only at the last minute did we split them.
“They talk about the great Belgium team but every time I go to see Belgium, I always come away thinking Marouane is the best player.
"Marouane is very noticeable for many reasons. He can play several roles and I needed that. We have a busy schedule coming up. We want to be able to play different ways in different games.
"Marouane is now a mature player, who has got better as he has gone along. He has also scored a fair weight of goals in the Premier League, which is always important. He wouldn't want to say it here but he was desperate to join Manchester United.
"He knew this was a big opportunity and he wasn't ready to let it go."
Asked if a move to sign Baines indicated a lack of confidence in Patrice Evra, Moyes added: "Far from it. I just felt we needed to make sure we had good cover for Patrice. He has played brilliantly well but I hope we are going to have a season that is going to include 60 or 70 games.
"Patrice played a big majority of the games last season but I just want to make sure if he broke down I had the right people around to help me."
Moyes says he has felt no need to speak with the 32-year-old about his status. "I have not because he is such a good professional," Moyes added. "He knew exactly what we were doing.
"If you play for Manchester United there is always someone out there getting ready to take your jersey. It is up to you to fight and make sure you keep it."
Moyes also attempted to head off any disquiet over Shinji Kagawa, who has been restricted to a eight-minute substitute appearance in the Community Shield against Wigan Athletic.
"There are quite a lot of players who have not featured yet," he said. "But if you look at it most of them were late back from international duty after the Confederations Cup, then they were away for a friendly international and a long-haul flight, then they were away again for another international.
"If you look at the reasons why people haven't played, it is more to do with them not being available for that to happen."Information from the Press Association was used in this report