July 2, 2007. Newly-crowned England champions Manchester United complete the signing of Brazilian teen sensation, Anderson, from FC Porto for a reported fee of 25.6 million pounds.
In the 24 games he played for Portuguese club, Anderson enthralled the fans and critics with his fabulous performances for the club and plaudits were rained down on the then 19-year-old.
The signing was seen as the ‘one for the future’ with Anderson being touted as the next midfield maestro to grace the famous Old Trafford pitch.
Fast forward to 2012.
Five years on and with the conclusion of another distraught campaign plagued with injuries, Anderson’s Manchester United career could be coming to a rather disappointing end.
The latest reports suggest that the Brazilian ‘flop’ could be heading to Spanish club Valencia in a swap deal that could see Jordi Alba heading the other side.
Even though the deal might sound quite unrealistic and absurd considering Barcelona’s interest in the latter, Anderson’s departure from United looks imminent to say the least.
Ever since making his debut against a Sunderland side on 1st September 2007, Anderson has never been able to produce the goods for United.
In his 145 appearances for the club, the now 24-year-old has only registered his name on the score sheet seven times, an unfathomable record for a player billed as an attacking midfielder.
Added to that, the constant injury problems have not been of great help to the Brazilian’s international’s lacklustre Red Devils career, the latest being a hamstring problem that ruled him out of United’s title run-in.
However, this leads us to the prime question- Should Manchester United sell Anderson?
Is the Brazilian just not good enough anymore to ply his trade at the most successful club in English football history? The answer is a grey area.
Yes, Anderson has unable to replicate his Porto form at United. Neither has he has been unable to justify his mammoth price tag and his injury problems have driven the fans nuts.
However, at times, Anderson has shown some flashes of brilliance and the talent he possess over the past two seasons. At times, he has produced that quick and intelligent pass that splits the opposition defence.
At times, he has acted as the metronome and the fulcrum of United’s midfield strata. In simple words, we can say that Anderson has the potential and abilities of a world-class player but only with some serious fitness issues.
At the start of the 2011/12 season, Anderson formed a daunting partnership with Tom Cleverley at the heart of United’s midfield and the two led the Red Devils to phenomenal victories over the likes of Arsenal, Spurs, Bolton, Chelsea, to name a few.
He showed his true potential in those games, producing sparkling passes and injecting a new field of creativity into Alex Ferguson’s team.
Henceforth, it is right to say that the once highly rated surely deserve some time and patience from the fans and the club for his immense talents.
Fergie should keep faith in Anderson and give him a chance in the upcoming 2012/13 season. Who knows, we might get our very own version of Luka Modric without spending an exorbitant 40 million pounds.
Anderson - In or out?
image: © Gordon Flood