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OPINION: Anderson – Where did it go wrong?

Martin Ferguson, our chief European scout, billed Anderson as “better than Wayne Rooney” before he was bought for a hefty 26 million quid from FC Porto in 2007. In 2008, he won the “Golden Boy” award for the most impressive young player across Europe, which placed him in the company of Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Agüero. Five years, 179 appearances and a paltry nine goals later, the anti-climax is as real as can be.

Mark Ogden from the Telegraph has reported that Manchester United are looking to cut their losses on Anderson after he failed to impress the hierarchy at Fiorentina enough to get a permanent deal during his January loan spell. To his credit, David Moyes did give him a chance to impress by starting him eight times but the failure to finish a single outing of 90 minutes on the pitch due to fitness concerns was enough for him to be demoted to the loan list. Sadly these concerns are nothing new and the fact that he has started 71% of his matches played but only finished 39% of those is telling.

He was labeled as the “next Ronaldinho” during his time at Grêmio (Brazil) and Porto where he played in the hole or as a box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, he hasn’t really done much in both the defensive and offensive boxes as far as Old Trafford is concerned. Self-acknowledged fitness and weight issues “When I had injuries I put on weight”, as told to Manchester Evening News and being played as a holding midfielder are probably two major hindrances in his development but a return of a goal every 20 games for an attack-minded player is poor.

Ogden has also reported that Porto are interested in re-signing Anderson but his £60,000-a-week wages might prevent a return unless United accept a subsidised transfer. With new manager, Louis van Gaal, rumoured to be looking to strengthen the midfield, Anderson will fall further down the pecking order behind the new signings, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Marouane Fellaini, and Darren Fletcher. He has always been a fan favourite “he’s our midfield magician” and has declared his love for the club on multiple occasions but even the most endeared fan probably wishes that the, still young, 26-year-old Brazilian can revive his career and be successful. Elsewhere.

By Suneer Verma

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