Tottenham allowing Mourinho to reunite with his former player would be a major step backwards 4

Why Tottenham should avoid signing Fellaini at all costs

Jose Mourinho has contacted Marouane Fellaini in the hope of enticing the towering midfielder back to the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, according to Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure (h/t The Metro).

Fellaini was the first major signing of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, joining for £27.5m on deadline day in the 2013 summer transfer window.

Despite being at Old Trafford for five years, he ended up being the poster boy for David Moyes’ disastrous spell in charge after Fergie retired.

Although he enjoyed some success under Jose Mourinho, the former Everton man fell further down the pecking order since the arrival of interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Just a year after signing an extension, the big Belgian decided to leave the club and joined Shandong Luneng.

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Fellaini in action (Image credit: Getty)

Belgian midfielder Fellaini is best known for his 11-year stint in the Premier League. The 32-year-old first made the move to England in 2008, when he joined Everton from Belgian outfit Standard Liege. After a productive spell at Goodison Park over the years that followed, Fellaini was subsequently rewarded with a high-profile switch to Manchester United in the summer of 2013.

The all-action Belgian’s time at Old Trafford proved largely unsuccessful, with Fellaini failing to start even half of the Red Devils’ Premier League fixtures. The Belgian looked lethargic and lacked the mobility required to compete at the top level with Manchester United.

However, with his former boss Mourinho at Spurs, it remains to be seen if Fellaini is open to a return to the English top tier.

During his time at United, the towering Belgian managed to carve himself a niche as an impact player, becoming one of Mourinho’s favourites at Old Trafford. In fact, the Portuguese frequently deployed him in the attack when chasing a goal. Fellaini has scored 12 goals in 34 games since leaving the Premier League for China and he has a contract with Shandong until December 2021.

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Marouane Fellaini left Manchester United after five-and-a-half years at the club

That said, the Chinese Super League season has now ended and Fellaini will not be in action until March.

Mourinho has gotten off to a flying start as Spurs boss – winning four of his first five matches against West Ham, Olympiacos, Bournemouth and Burnley.

Spurs do lack a back-up striker to Harry Kane after Fernando Llorente left the club on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract. The Spanish target man is currently impressing with Napoli.

Mourinho has always been someone who opts for experience rather than youth but with Troy Parrot developing rapidly at the club, bringing in Fellaini would not be a great idea.


Mourinho is notorious for forging close bonds with some players but at present, his midfield is already well-stocked, with Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso arriving in the summer to supplement the likes of Harry Winks, Eric Dier and Moussa Sissoko.

Fellaini’s versatility and physical style might suit Mourinho and the Premier League but by signing him, Spurs would be going against their blueprint of signing young players and developing them.