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“You go nowhere…” – Man Utd icon recalls how Jose Mourinho gave him a ‘big boost’ at Old Trafford



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One former Manchester United player has recalled how Jose Mourinho gave him a “big boost” after the Portuguese manager arrived at Old Trafford.

Marouane Fellaini’s tenure at Manchester United was marked by a mix of highs and lows, making him a polarizing figure among fans. Signed by then-manager David Moyes in the summer of 2013 from Everton for a reported fee of around £27.5 million, Fellaini was brought in to add physical presence and aerial prowess to the United midfield.

Initially, he struggled to adapt to the pace and expectations of playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, facing criticism for his performances.

However, Fellaini gradually grew into his role and became a useful asset for the team, particularly under managers Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

His towering presence and ability to win aerial duels made him a valuable option in both midfield and attack, often deployed as a target man or impact substitute.

Despite facing occasional criticism for his playing style, Fellaini’s dedication and work ethic endeared him to many fans, and he played a significant role in United’s successes, including winning the FA Cup under Van Gaal and the UEFA Europa League whilst under Mourinho.

However, the Belgian midfielder’s future seemed uncertain when United brought in the Portuguese manager Mourinho in 2016. He was quickly given assurances from the manager about his place in the squad and made sure to repay Mourinho with his work ethic.

“I never met him before [then]. I played against [his teams]. But to meet him, never,” Fellaini said of Jose, speaking on the United Podcast.

“But I remember he sent me a message in the summer to say to me: ‘You go nowhere, you know? I count on you.’ So, first of all, this is a big boost. 

“So, when you arrive at the pre-season, it was after Euro 2016. I was on holiday, the team was already training, and I arrived late because of the pre-season [tour]. 

“I was training with [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic one week in Carrington and after that the team arrived from the pre-season. But, first of all, directly Mourinho gave me his trust and I had to give him back with everything I can.

“I had good training with him, I never had a problem with him. I gave everything to him, but with all the coaches, I never cheated, I never had problems with the coaches. I always respect their decisions.”