For several months now there has been a huge amount of speculation linking Lazio star Felipe Anderson with a potential move to Manchester United. The Italian club’s sporting director Igli Tare confirmed that they rejected a huge €50 million bid from United last August, however the 22-year-old continues to be on the Premier League club’s radar.
Anderson himself broke his silence on the matter this week by insisting that he’s focused on performing well at Lazio in order to force his way into the Brazilian national team. He claimed that “there’s nothing concrete”, with regards to the rumours suggesting he is close to agreeing a summer move to Old Trafford.
Whether or not Louis van Gaal remains in charge beyond this season, United are in desperate need of someone who can inject some speed into their attacking play and Anderson can do exactly that.
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The Lazio winger is a wonderfully gifted player technically, possessing quick feet, excellent dribbling ability and a good first touch. He is skilful, good enough to shoot from distance with either foot and he’d give the Red Devils some guile in the final third of the pitch. Anderson is hard-working but he also has the quality, vision and passing accuracy to create goals as well as score them.
The talented Brazilian, who has one cap for his country, is one of the fastest attackers in Europe and the threat of his pace in behind defences has been a constant weapon for Lazio ever since he joined them in 2013. Anderson was one of their stand-out players last season as Biancocelesti finished 3rd in Serie A and he has continued his good form in the current campaign, scoring eight goals and providing three assists so far.
Where would he fit in?
The former Santos man is capable of playing on either wing, as a forward or as an attacking midfielder, but he would best fit into the current United side on the right-hand side of midfield. Adnan Januzaj’s career has stagnated after a bright start and, at the age of 30, both Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young’s days as marauding wingers are seemingly over.
Up until recently, Juan Mata had played the vast majority of his games under Van Gaal on the right-wing. While there’s no doubting his technical ability and creativity, the Spaniard lacks pace and so Anderson’s acquisition would allow Mata to play solely in his natural position as a number ten and give the 27-year-old the chance to replicate the form which saw him win Chelsea’s Player of the Season award in two consecutive years.
Deploying Anderson on the right-wing would also give French forward Anthony Martial - arguably United’s best outfield player this season - the chance to play regularly in his preferred position as a central striker, where he is most dangerous and effective.
Why should Man United sign Anderson?
Off the pitch Manchester United are unquestionably one of the biggest football clubs in the world, however on it many people feel that they are beginning to go into decline, having not won a single major trophy since the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
Many of United’s displays this season, especially in the early stages of the campaign, were dull, unimaginative and uninspiring but Felipe Anderson is a bright, exciting and entertaining player. He would get the United fans on the edge of their seats and they’d certainly welcome him to Old Trafford with open arms. There’s no doubt that the 20-time English champions are crying out for someone of Anderson’s calibre.
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