Marouane Fellaini has never looked quite at home during his time at Manchester United. Few fans have taken to him, largely because of moments like the one on Sunday afternoon at Goodison Park. By giving away a costly late penalty against Everton, Fellaini attracted the ire of supporters yet again.

Fellaini, making his 100th appearance for United, was introduced against his former club with five minutes to go in an effort to secure the game. Manager Jose Mourinho believed his aerial presence would help to counter long balls towards Toffees striker Romelu Lukaku.

However, three minutes later, the Belgian midfielder had made an unwanted impact. His clumsy challenge on Idrissa Gueye gifted Everton a penalty, which Leighton Baines duly converted to claim a precious point.

Mourinho certainly felt it was two points dropped. United had taken the lead through a long-range lob from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who now has four goals in his past three Premier League games, and looked set to score a creditable victory over a strong Everton side. Instead, they were left to rue Fellaini’s intervention. United have won only one of their past eight league games, a run which has left them ten points adrift of the top four and Champions League qualification.

Consistent underperformance

Attacking midfielder Fellaini was signed from Everton by David Moyes in 2013. That’s right – he has been a United player for more than three years now. Moyes, who was newly-appointed at Old Trafford after managing Fellaini at Everton, turned to the Belgian at the end of a largely fruitless transfer window for United.

At £27.5 million, he undoubtedly overpaid.

Still, Fellaini had given Moyes plenty of reason to seek his services. In his final campaign at Everton, he scored 11 goals and made six assists across 31 league games. He was the driving force in an Everton side which lost just seven Premier League matches all season.

But the sad fact is that Fellaini has failed to fit in at United.

He has scored fewer goals in 72 Premier League games for United (7) than he did in that final season at Everton alone. So far this term, he has not scored or assisted a goal in nearly 900 minutes Football in all competitions.

Sunday should have been a reason to celebrate.

But Fellaini quickly reminded fans of how he has become a source of frustration.

Out of position

Fellaini has not been helped by being played out of position.

Mourinho has largely used him in central or defensive midfield, when he is most effective playing just behind a striker. The previous manager, Louis van Gaal, occasionally deployed him as an out-and-out forward. So if the Belgian has often looked out of place in a United shirt, it is generally because he has been.

That being said, he simply does not warrant a place in the starting XI, particularly in his favoured attacking midfield position. Competition for places in that area is fierce – captain Wayne Rooney, new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata are all arguably more effective. The same could be said for Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Plus at 29, Fellaini hardly represents the future in the same way as some of those players.

Fellaini may well be better off seeking a move either in January or next summer. Sunday was his 100th appearance for United, and sadly he does not seem any more at home than when he first arrived.