MAROUANE FELLAINI is no Diego Maradona, but Jose Mourinho insists the midfielder is now getting the credit he deserves.
The Manchester United boss took stating the obvious to new levels when discussing the Belgian international who dug his manager out of hole scoring the winner against Young Boys on Tuesday.
PA:Press Association4 Jose Mourinho has defended his man Marouane Fellaini
AFP – Getty4 Marouane Fellaini is no Maradona says Jose Mourinho
Fellaini, 31, has been seen as the poster boy of David Moyes’ disastrous short spell in charge at Old Trafford and has struggled ever since to win over the United faithful.
But Mourinho was desperate for the midfielder to stay on and persuaded him to pen a new deal in the summer, with the United boss glad the big man stuck around.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton, Mourinho said: “I think now he’s getting (the credit he deserves).
"I think until I came (to Man Utd) he probably didn't, but I think now everyone gives him what he deserves.
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BT Sport4 At least Marouane Fellaini has one thing in common with Diego Maradona
AFP or licensors4 Jose Mourinho is full of praise for Marouane Fellaini who signed a new United deal in the summer
"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.”