Louis van Gaal: Marouane Fellaini is undroppable for Manchester United
Old Trafford boss sings praises of Belgian star
It's been a remarkable turnaround for Marouane Fellaini since Louis van Gaal took over at Old Trafford, so much so that the Dutchman says he is now indispensable.
The £27m Belgian came in for plenty of abuse during his time under David Moyes at Old Trafford but he is now enjoying a new lease of life at Manchester United.
“When he plays as he does now I can not change him,” said Van Gaal. “I have heard a lot of stories about him but from the first training session he did what I asked.
"He was open and he wants to perform so I am not surprised with his form. He had an unlucky season because he was injured and ill, but when fit he has always played for me because I was looking for a balance and he can give a lot of balance.
“The first time I met him he was late because of the World Cup. I didn’t know him. I knew him as a coach, that he played for Manchester United and Everton and national team, but it’s the first time I saw him was in Manchester.”
Robin van Persie has been ruled out of Manchester United's Premier League match against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Van Persie has not played for United since he suffered an ankle injury in the 2-1 defeat to Swansea on February 21.
It was expected he would return this weekend after the international break, but van Gaal said the Holland striker is still not match fit.
"Robin van Persie is still injured," the United manager said his weekly press conference at the AON Training Complex.
"We have a process. He has to go to the final football coach before he comes into my group and he is not there yet.
"He is still not in my group."