There will always be questions asked about Anderson’s Manchester United career.
The Brazilian midfielder was considered one of the brightest young talents in world football when he signed for the Red Devils in 2007.
A year later, he added Under-17 World Cup Golden Ball and Golden Boy honours to his name.
Yet over the course of his eight years at Old Trafford, Anderson couldn’t build on his supreme talent and left in 2015 without leaving the sort of legacy that many thought he might.
There were highs, including his penalty in the 2008 Champions League final shoot-out against Chelsea, but the overwhelming feeling that comes when reflecting on Anderson’s time at United is one of disappointment.
Anderson might see it a different way. He did win four Premier League titles to go with the Champions League triumph, after all.
The midfielder’s popularity among his teammates helped him stay at the club for nearly a decade, despite the fact that it was clear to those inside the dressing room that Anderson lacked the professionalism to become a true great.
In his joint autobiography with his twin brother Fabio, former United right-back Rafael admitted Anderson could have been “the best in the world” – but that he loved McDonald’s too much.
And a former United coach has gone into more detail about why Anderson didn’t fulfil his potential in Manchester.
Why Anderson failed at Man Utd
Mick Clegg worked closely with the players as United’s power-development coach. In an interview with The Athletic, Clegg called Anderson ‘lazy’ and a ‘party animal’, and reiterated what others have said about the midfielder – he had all the talent, but not the desire.
“You could never find a nicer person – he was popular with everyone – but he was a lazy bleeder,” Clegg said. “He always had his excuses.
“I used to have a stick and I said to Alex Ferguson very early on, ‘If he carries on, I’m going to hit him with my bleeding stick’.
“Fergie couldn’t believe it. ‘Don’t you dare. He cost me a lot of money. You can’t be hitting one of my players, are you mad?’.
“Then, six weeks later, Fergie came to find me. ‘Where’s that bloody stick?’, he said. ‘Give me that stick. I want to hit him’.”
Clegg continued by saying Anderson was a ‘party animal’ and admitted he had little sympathy for the former Brazil international.
“Anderson was more than capable of being an absolute stormer of a player. He just needed his head knocking. He didn’t keep fit,” Clegg added.
“He chose not to put in the work, so it’s hard to have too much sympathy for him. He was a party animal.”
That’s a scathing assessment of Anderson. Unfortunately, even the chance to become an icon at one of the biggest clubs in the world wasn’t enough to motivate him.