"Michael was identified before he was at West Ham," Phelan told manutd.com. "But West Ham got in there quick. We saw him young and always admired his talent - the timing never fell right. Around the time we signed him, we wondered whether to go for a defensive midfielder or one who could set the play rolling, and Michael fell into that category. We targeted him as a player who fitted into our grand scheme.
"He gives a feeling of well-being within the team.
"Where other players might want to rush, he takes his time. He can take the sting out of the game, and also keep the pace of it up. It's his control, attitude and way of thinking. He's learned a lot through playing with good players, and being at a club that is constantly striving for more. He's a winner, and he wants to be the best midfielder in the country."