Signed from Porto in the summer of 2007 for around £20 million, Anderson was hailed as Brazil’s future number 10 upon arriving in Manchester but, after being forced into a deeper role under Sir Alex Ferguson, has struggled to fulfil his potential.
With injuries also hampering his progress, the eight-time capped international has made just 10 first-team appearances for the club over the past two seasons, having spent the second half of the previous campaign on loan at Fiorentina.
Out of contract in the summer, he is now understood to have agreed a move back to his homeland with Internacional, per the Guardian, and Neville believes he will leave wishing he had tried harder to salvage his Premier League career.
“He has had some really good performances, but not consistently and I wonder whether that has been because of fitness as he’s picked up a lot of injuries,” he said.
“He’ll look back at his Manchester United career with some level of disappointment. I’ve played with him, he’s got an enormous amount of talent and there have been some really big games at Anfield where he has shown he is capable of playing in the big matches.
“He is a big-game player, has a big-game mentality, lots of skill but never was fit enough to be able to do it consistently, week in and out in the Premier League and that’s a real shame.
“That’s when you have those players who look back at the end of their careers and wonder: ‘Could I have been that little bit more driven?’ He has the talent but lacked in other areas and was unfortunate with injuries.”
Still just 26, Anderson has time on his side if he wants to get his once-promising career back on track, but it remains to be seen whether the return to Brazil will prove the inspiration needed to recapture the form which saw fans of his childhood club Gremio labelling him “the next Ronaldinho”.
While he did show flashes of his potential in England, he's certain to go down as one of Ferguson's less impressive moves in the transfer market.