Marouane Fellaini
Barkley inspired Everton to victory over Fellaini's United earlier this month.

Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen believes manager David Moyes would have been better off signing Everton's Ross Barkley instead of Marouane Fellaini.

Fellaini has only started in one United win this season amid an inauspicious start to his Old Trafford career which also saw him sent off against Real Sociedad.

The Belgian was the only significant signing made by David Moyes in the transfer window, a summer during which the Scot's work was heavily scrutinised and Owen says he brought the wrong player with him from Goodison Park.

"Moyes would have expected an instant return on investment when buying Marouane Fellaini," Owen told Sportslobster.

"I rate him highly in a certain type of team but I'm not sure he is a Manchester United player.

"Moyes would have been better served by breaking the bank for another of Everton's players. A team consisting of two of the best youngsters in the Premier League, Adnan Januzaj and Ross Barkley, would have immediately sent out the message that Moyes is building a team to last.

"[But] there is no doubt in my mind that David Moyes will be a huge success at Manchester United for years to come."

Barkley has enjoyed a stunning breakthrough campaign at Everton under new boss Roberto Martinez and has been capped three times by England including in the World Cup qualifying win over Moldova in September.

Two Premier League goals and a string of fine performances makes him a contender to travel with England to Brazil for next summer's World Cup, a call-up which would mark a significant turnaround in his career after difficult loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United last term.

Both United and Chelsea have been heavily linked with a move for Barkley in the past but after signing a new deal in December 2011, a fresh contract renewal is expected to warn off their interest.

Moyes had attempted to sign Leighton Baines from the Toffees during the summer but saw two bids rejected. However, he has been linked with returning with a third bid in the January transfer window.