Everton: Senior Felliani makes Asian appearance
It was interesting to see this week’s confirmation that Everton will participation in the Java Cup against Galatasaray and two national representative sides from Indonesia and Malaysia.
However, for me, the more eye-catching development was not the news itself but the manner in which the news was delivered, or more specifically, the personnel used to make the announcement.
Marouane Fellaini was the player chosen by Everton to fly half way around the world and represent the club in a very public environment. Without reading too much into this decision, it can still be viewed as significant.
Without question, it demonstrates that Fellaini is now considered a senior member of the Everton squad. This may seem an obvious statement given his form and impact in the past 18 months, but it has not always been such. The Belgian has learnt to put aside the indiscipline and tetchiness that were once unwelcome traits of his game and now exudes greater gravitas as a result.
While other senior players like Jagielka and Heitinga were away on international duty, David Moyes and the club’s commercial team could still have called upon the likes of Tim Howard or Phil Neville, but instead they chose the young Belgian, who is remarkably still only 22 years of age. Fellaini is integral to the side and it appears that recognition now extends throughout the club.
Hopefully, it also demonstrates that he is here to stay. One must hope that the Blues wouldn’t be so short-sighted as to send an envoy to a potentially lucrative new market if there were any inkling that they may be willing to sell him any time soon.
Fellaini is a fine footballer who may be destined to move to a wealthier Champions League regular in the coming years, but perhaps a more prominent role within the football club, not to mention his improved contract signed last season, will be enough to keep him happy for now.
Who knows? Keep hold of Fellaini as a cornerstone of our side and maybe Everton can develop into a side where he, Johnny and Jags want to spend the majority of their careers.