Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira or just Anderson might be one of the most talented footballers in the world but he’s also one of those who have not fulfilled their vast potential yet. Last week saw him linked with a move away from Old Trafford. This got me thinking of how Anderson, once known as “the next Ronaldinho”, an unjust label actually considering their vastly different playing styles, is now considered as a failure at Manchester United.
Anderson joined Man United along with Portuguese winger Nani. Their move to United generated a lot of excitement among the fans as we were supposedly getting the next “Cristiano Ronaldo” and “Ronaldinho”. The first season saw both players impressing everyone with some great displays. Anderson was soon being considered the replacement for United legend Scholes, looking the perfect candidate to take over when he retired. The second season however was a big letdown for him as he was sparingly used due to inconsistent form. Still, Sir Alex showed how highly he rated Anderson by selecting him to start against Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League final, but he struggled on the night, along with every other United player as the team under performed throughout the game.
A lot was expected from Anderson at the start of 2009/10 season. He started well, scoring his first goal in a 3-1 win over Tottenham, but then things soon went downhill from there, reportedly flying off to Brazil without the club’s permission and then falling out with Sir Alex. Anderson made his return to the first team in the game against West Ham on 23rd February, he was performing well until he suffered an injury in the 20th minute and was replaced. Later it was revealed Anderson had ruptured the cruciate ligament in his knee and would miss the remainder of the season.
Anderson’s better performances have come when asked to play as an attacking midfielder in a three man midfield. When selected in this role Anderson has shown ability to make great runs with ball at feet, brilliant passing, tracking back opposition midfielders and closing them down efficiently, also displaying his pace and agility at times. Anderson’s inability to adapt to a 2 man Midfield has been his downfall so far. To say Anderson is no good is a stupid and unjust statement, he single handily kept Steven Gerrard and Fabregas quiet in games. This illustrates his potential but he seems to be missing the right attitude and desire. Next season we may see Anderson repeat the same form Nani showed during the second half of 2009/10 season – show his true talents and become a key player for the team.
What next season holds in store for Anderson, I can’t say, but hoping he stays with us for another season and proves why he was once the most highly rated youngster in the world. Next season is surely the make or break season for Anderson, as he must give his all if he wants to rebuild his United career and once more become the ideal candidate to take over from Scholes!