Everton defender Leighton Baines has highlighted club team-mate Marouane Fellaini as a major threat to England when they face Belgium.
All eyes are set to be on Chelsea-bound Eden Hazard, Premier League winner Vincent Kompany and Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen as the Belgians line up against the Three Lions on Saturday, but Baines insisted the midfielder will be a tall order for the likes of Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard to cope with.
“People just tend to notice ‘Felli’ for his hair but there is so much more to him,” the England left-back told The Daily Mail.
“He is a lovely lad and such a good professional. He gives you everything that he has got and his work ethic is second to none.
“He is versatile and does whatever you ask him. He is a great asset when we defend and a total nuisance when we attack, you saw that when we played Manchester United (in the 4-4 draw at Old Trafford on April 22).
“He ran the game and scored a great goal. Any team in Europe would want him.”
The 24-year old Fellaini moved to Goodison Park for a club record 15 million pounds from Standard Liege in 2008 and has since scored 20 goals in 137 appearances for the Toffees.
And with the Belgian midfielder reportedly attracting interest from big-spending Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid, Baines has no doubt that he would be able to step up to the top level if prised away from Everton.
“The fact that we signed him for such a big fee was a big deal,” he said.
“It meant that there was pressure on him straight away but he just came in and got on with it. It was quite unusual, really. In his first week, he kept going around smashing into people with these wild tackles.
“Some of the lads did not know what to make of it and wouldn’t go near him. The last thing you want in training is to get a volley off someone, but Tim Cahill definitely received a few.
“I think he just wanted to show that he shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
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