Marouane Fellaini has admitted he considered leaving Manchester United following his difficult first campaign at Old Trafford.
The Belgium midfielder was signed by United in September 2013 in a £27.5million move from Everton – linking up with former Goodison Park boss David Moyes – but struggled last season, failing to score a single goal.
Moyes was sacked as United produced a woeful defence of the Premier League title, eventually finishing seventh after the club had dispensed with the Scot’s services.
Fellaini was the target of much criticism last term but, with United now on course for a return to UEFA Champions League football under Louis van Gaal and the ex-Standard Liege man finding form again, things are looking up for the 27-year-old.
“It [2013-14] was a difficult season for everyone, not just me, but the criticism was on me because I was the transfer of Moyes,” Fellaini told the Daily Mail.
“I did some good games but even those I was criticised for. A lot of people talked about me, about my quality.
“I had played five years in England and every season I played very well for Everton. Then, for one year, I lost my football, I lost my quality, I lost everything.
“That’s my opinion. And now my quality has come back. But that’s not right, that’s not right.
“Yes [I considered leaving] but I have a contract. I talked with the new manager and he told me I have to show him, prove to him. I accept that. I am a footballer so I like that competition.
“This is a big club and I wanted to show I can play here.
“It is different now. The fans, the people, they are with me, not against me. Last season was bad for everyone, but I have had the strength to move on.
“I play much better than last year, but the team play much better as well, so it has been good for us all.
“That is football. I learned a lot from that. I am stronger mentally. I always thought I was, but now more than ever.”