Big things were expected from Anderson when he joined Manchester United from FC Porto in 2007.
Some believe that Anderson has failed to live up to the hype since the big-money move, as his career thus far has been blighted by injuries which have hampered his progress.
Manchester United have a lot of talent in the middle, the likes of Michael Carrick performing brilliantly, the arrival of the exciting Shinji Kagawa, the potential of Tom Cleverley and Nick Powell, and the evergreen Paul Scholes showing that Sir Alex Ferguson's side possess enough midfield talent to beat any team in the world.
So would Anderson really be such a big loss to Manchester United?
Anderson raised doubts over his future at Manchester United a few days ago when talking to Brazilian media outlet Globo Esporte. He revealed he has previously attempted to leave Old Trafford on a number of occasions in the past.
"What can I say? I have three more years of contract, I have tried many times and never succeeded to do so," said Anderson.
Sir Alex Ferguson has previously given Anderson his blessing to leave the club, but a move has so far failed to materialise. Whilst Anderson remains a useful squad member, the question is, do United want to keep a player who no longer wants to ply his trade at Old Trafford?
This season, Anderson has made 10 league appearances, scoring one goal. With Anderson having played a bit-part role this season, would he really be such a big loss to the club?
I don’t think so.
We are well aware that United are always on the hunt for fresh, young talent, as we have seen with the recent acquisition of Wilfried Zaha.
There is nothing stopping them from replacing Anderson with another top central midfielder. Here are five replacements that are more than capable of replacing the Brazilian midfielder.
Marouane Fellaini | Everton
He has been in monstrous form this season, and although it looks increasingly likely that he'll be going to Chelsea in the summer, you cannot rule anything out.
It does seem a long shot and the Belgian would come at a price, but Fellaini is certainly a man capable of filling the potential void left by Anderson, should he look for pastures new.
Frank Lampard | Chelsea
We are all well aware of what this man can do.
Lampard may be embroiled in a contract stand-off with Chelsea, but as of yet there is no word whether the England international will be playing for the Blues next season.
Manchester United’s interest in the 34-year-old midfielder is nothing more than speculation at this moment in time, but if he continues this form into next season, then Lampard old be a vital asset to United.
Isco | Malaga
One of the highest rated youngsters in world football. Isco certainly made a name for himself in 2012, and continues to impress.
Manchester United are reportedly in the hunt for the £30m man, but whether the Red Devils can tempt Malaga into parting with their most prized asset remains to be seen.
That said, Malaga’s financial woes may swing the balance in United's favour as they attempt to do a deal, and Isco would be a wonderful improvement on Anderson should this come to fruition.
Luka Modric | Real Madrid
Modric’s first season at Real Madrid has been a disappointment, especially for the price Madrid paid to secure his services.
But there is no denying the talent he possesses - Chelsea and Manchester United are two clubs interested in bringing the Croatian international back to England.
Kevin Strootman | PSV Eindhoven
A man who can easily replace and outshine Anderson, Strootman looks to be a player available in the summer for the right price.
The box-to-box midfielder ticks all the boxes in terms of what Sir Alex Ferguson's side are currently missing in the middle of the park, and being compared to Roy Keane is no small feat either.
He may not be the most well known of players across the globe, but he is a strong candidate to replace Anderson should he leave United.
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