Anderson, Anderson, Anderson. A name synonymous with potential, injuries, moments of brilliance yet an overwhelming sinking feeling of here we go again.
After being bought for £18 million from FC Porto in 2007, United fans were whet – we had just signed two of the most promising talents from Portugal, things were looking good. Fast forward to 2012 – Nani, while capable of brilliant moments, still fails to deliver the consistency required in the Premier League, and then there’s Anderson.
A man who has had more injuries than I have had hot dinners. Last year looked like it was going to be his time. He finally had a pre-season without injury and immediately formed an impressive partnership with Tom Cleverley in the middle of the park. It marked a remarkable change in how United played – the pragmatic approach was thrown out and the players obliged to fans chanting Attack, Attack, Attack.
However, the rise of Anderson was short lived. A knee injury suffered in the Champions League kept him out and an early return on New Year’s Eve was but a reprieve, as further injuries forced him back to the sidelines for the rest of the season.
Despite such terrible misfortune with injuries, in an interview with MUTV, Anderson remained typically upbeat:
“I started last season with no problems but then I started to feel my knee a bit. It’s just one of those things – some players have injuries and others don’t.
“It’s unfortunate it happened to me but I just got my head down and worked as hard as I could to get back. And when I came back I thought everything was fine, but then I had more bad luck.
“I’m just focused on staying fit now and doing my best to work hard and give 100 per cent for the team.”
Anderson knows that this is potentially his last chance. Some fans may even cry that we should try and cash in on him this summer but with our midfield already thin, especially following Park Ji Sung’s departure, we cannot afford to let our numbers dwindle further and with Anderson confident that he can finally build his career this season, he deserves at least one more chance, in what he called the most important season so far:
“Yes definitely. I need to prove what I can do. I know the boss and my team-mates believe in me, I’ve just had bad luck. I want to improve as much as I can and help the team win trophies.
“I really enjoyed myself at the start of last season. Me and Tom did well, but I enjoy playing with all the midfielders – Carrick, Tom, Scholes. I don’t mind. I just want to play and feel good. And I want to stay fit. Hopefully I can get a run of playing, enjoy my football and help the team.”
Brazilian players have never really had an impact at United in years gone by, look no further than Kleberson, but with Rafael, Fabio and Anderson all in the squad right now, maybe the times are changing. Rafael has penned a new deal and Fabio will finally get some game time in a season long loan to QPR.
Now all that needs to happen is for Anderson to avoid getting injured and get a long period in the first team. Then, and only then, can we hope to see the sexy samba football that we were treated to at points last season when Anderson was in full flow.