With all the talk of Modric and Sneijder, some United fans, myself included, have almost forgotten about our samba star, Anderson.
Anderson has had his fair share of criticism since his arrival four years ago and I can honestly say I have staunchly defended him against all naysayers, but it is increasingly becoming a case of now-or-never for the boy from Brazil.
Most fans are frustrated at Anderson’s patchy form. He looks like a world-beater one week, only to be almost completely anonymous the next. He also seems to be carrying an extra pound or two since a serious injury last season, meaning he regularly fades out of games from 70 minutes onwards.
Let’s not forget though that Anderson is only just 23 and has been quite unfortunate with injuries, including that serious knee-injury which sidelined him for 7 months last year. Also he has just had his best season in a United shirt. His performances have been steadier, with very good games against Blackburn and Schalke sticking out. Anderson also seems to be a very popular member of the squad, always cracking a joke with one of the players, or even Sir Alex.
As I said I have always been a big fan of Anderson. His vision and passing ability, combined with his energy levels and ability to run with the ball make him a very exciting player. But the time for flashy cameos is over and even I have to admit that Anderson needs to make central midfield his own next season.
When he and Nani arrived from Portugal in 2007, it was Anderson who was the surprising signing of the two. He was billed as a future replacement for when Paul Scholes retired. Well that time has come and I for one believe Anderson can still be the man to step up to the plate.
And if you’re still in doubt, think back a year and you were probably reading an article just like this one on Nani…