Anderson 'used to be like Neymar; has only himself to blame,' says ex-Brazil star

Manchester United midfielder Anderson has come in for criticism from a former Brazil international.

When Anderson first arrived at Manchester United in 2007, talk was that Sir Alex Ferguson had signed one of the most exciting young players in the game.

A dynamic attacking midfielder who had been crowned Player of the Tournament at the 2005 under-17 World Championship, Anderson had even been called up by then-Brazil coach Dunga for the preliminary Confederations Cup squad.

Not bad for an 18-year-old who seemingly had the world at his feet.

But seven years later, it is safe to say Anderson failed to live up to his potential in some style, making 179 appearances for the club but scoring just nine goals in that time and setting up a further 21.

There were brief glimpses of his talent. But Anderson was too often injured or out of form, his enthusiasm there for all to see but his skills somehow subdued.

And with his United future hanging in the balance, ex-Brazilian Tostao has said that it is Anderson’s fault and his alone that he has failed to live up to his potential.

In an interview with FourFourTwo and later published by the Manchester Evening News, Tostao is quoted as saying, “When (Brazilian’s) move to the Premier League, I think they become more disciplined, get to know the importance of the collective game and develop the tactical part.

“The point is to learn all this without losing technique. If they cannot do this, it’s their fault.

“Anderson is a classic case. If you remember him as a young player, he was pretty much like Neymar, but after playing there he became predictable.

“But he’s the only one to blame for this.”

It is a bold statement and one that reveals just how much Anderson has failed to live up to his potential. Watch clips of him as a youth and there are similarities with Neymar. There is also a bravado and the ability to be the catalyst that has since been lost.

It is a shame for the 26-year-old, and also a shame for United, who could now be in possession of a Brazilian superstar. But instead look like waving him goodbye.

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