Brazil legend Carlos Alberto says Anderson will live up to his reputation as a future superstar, after the playmaker looked promising in his second half substitution for Manchester United in the FA Cup semi final on Saturday.
But Alberto advised Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to allow Anderson more freedom on the pitch so he can show his true potential.
“Anderson is a very good player, but I knew him when he played in Brazil and, in my opinion, he is playing in a different way to the way he played back there,” Alberto said.
“He is not playing in his real position.
“In Brazil, we would like to see him play with freedom on the field because he creates chances and he scores.
“This is the Anderson that we know in Brazil but here he seems to play more defensively. The coach knows best but that is my opinion.”
Manchester United signed Anderson four years ago, when the starlet was just 19, as world media dubbed him new Ronaldinho. Anderson cost a reported £19 million, but Ferguson refused to buy into the hype surrounding the youngster.
“The reports we were getting were saying that he was the best young player in the world,” Ferguson said when he signed the midfielder.
“I was saying, ‘For God’s sake, let’s calm down a bit here.’ I knew he had real potential, but I didn’t want to put labels on him like that.”
But Alberto believes that the now 23 year old, who signed a new contract for Manchester United in December last year, will be great if played in the right position.
“In Brazil, we compared him to Ronaldinho because he is a very skilled player,” the 1970 World Cup winner said.
“But over here, he seems to be playing more defensively and this is not the best way for him to play.
“Any good Brazilian player can play [in England] or in any other country. They only need to have some time because when they come over here they change their style and the tactics.
“If they are given a chance to get used to it they will prove that they are good players.”
With Paul Scholes suspended for tonight’s match against Newcastle, and Ryan Giggs nearing retirement as well as Scholes, now is the time for Anderson to stand up and be counted for Manchester United.