Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini wants to emulate Roy Keane and become a Red Devils legend.
After a tortuous summer, the Belgium international can start preparing to make his United debut against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford this lunch-time.
Although manager David Moyes knew as soon as he was appointed as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor that he wanted Fellaini to make the switch from Goodison Park with him, it was not until the last moments of the transfer window that a £27.5m switch was finally concluded.
But now it has, Fellaini has set his sights on having an Old Trafford career to remember.
“Roy Keane was an aggressive player who could win every ball,” said Fellaini. “Maybe I can do this as well.
“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.”
United did not confirm Fellaini had become the fourth most expensive player in their history until 2am on September 3, three hours after the transfer window had closed.
Prior to that, the 25-year-old had driven back to Everton’s Finch Farm training complex for one final time in order to persuade Blues manager Roberto Martinez of his desire to leave.
That, coupled with Fellaini’s decision to forgo £4m in bonus payments, finally triggered Everton chairman Bill Kenwright’s decision to sanction a transfer the former Standard Liege man thought would never happen.
“With the chairman at Everton you never know,” he said.
“Sometimes I thought there was no chance for me to join Manchester United.
“But I talked with the manager. It was a big opportunity for me to join one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“I know what my objectives are. I want to win trophies. That is why I play football.
“With Manchester United I have a big chance to win something.”
Moyes has been criticised for allowing a £23.5m clause in Fellaini’s contract to lapse on July 31.
The decision effectively cost a hefty sum, although United insist they did not actually pay any more than the initial sum.
Yet Moyes was motivated more by a desire to conclude a double deal which also involved Leighton Baines.
It was only when the possibility of signing the England full-back disappeared that Moyes split the deal.
“We didn’t want to give up on Leighton,” said Moyes.
“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.”
Manager Arsene Wenger feels club-record signing Mesut Ozil could have as big an impact as Dennis Bergkamp did when he joined Arsenal.
The German playmaker left Real Madrid for the Gunners in a £43m deal on transfer deadline and could make his debut today at Sunderland.
The arrival of Holland forward Bergkamp from Inter Milan in 1995 heralded Arsenal’s rise to becoming the dominant force in the English game, and Wenger accepts there are similarities between the two deals and what they mean for the club.
“It is comparable because they are similar players in the same department and they are big names who come from big teams,” Wenger said.
Samuel Eto’o is set to make his debut for Chelsea against Everton at Goodison Park.
The 32-year-old former Cameroon international striker, who signed from Anzhi Makhachkala in the summer transfer window, is likely to start from the bench.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said: “He will be selected and when you are selected as a striker you play – you start or finish the game.
“It is the area where I make more changes during the match.”