Forget Porto. Anderson’s home is at Old Trafford
‘Anderson reveals Porto wish‘. I could think of thousands of other headlines I’d rather appear on my screen than that one. For example, ‘Steven Gerrard slips on bar of soap’ or ‘Kieran Gibbs reveals all – the mystery behind his large cranium’. Anyway, Anderson apparently said the following: “I am good in Manchester but I’d like to return to Portugal and my preference would be Porto. I love the country.” Good – he’s “happy” at Old Trafford, however…you must feel a tad concerned at the “preference” and “I’d like to return” part.
The article points out that Anderson has only made four appearances this season, but considering that he’s just recovered from a lengthy lay-off you could only dismiss that with the over-dramatic, dismissive tutting that I tend to do when I read the usual rubbish the web has to offer when it comes to football news.
Surely this isn’t his last season in a red shirt? His somewhat short career has been plagued injury, made more difficult by the fierce competition for a place in a starting line up yet it is obvious that Anderson is a talented individual and someone who can further develop his all-round game. He’s powerful and aggressive as opposed to pacy, and although he’s not the next Ronaldinho as some had said before signing for the club, he brings an extra, useful option to the side.
He can play anywhere in the centre; be it as a holding midfielder or even behind the forward. I personally think his best position is as the defensive midfielder, a position in which he found relative success in his first season at the club. Like Paul Scholes did many moons ago, he can become the perfect box-to-box midfielder, whilst also pulling the strings from a deep position. On the other hand, he’s no mug further up the field. Against Valencia a few weeks previous, he was excellent in holding the up the ball, making darting runs in the centre and good at linking up play. This was also his default when at FC Porto.
Obviously, he needs to address his inconsistencies, but I feel that’s largely down to him not having a position. He played on the left against Sunderland a fortnight ago, where United created next to nothing. Playing out wide is way out of his comfort zone – thankfully, it doesn’t happen often. There’s no doubting Anderson can improve and I think he will; it’ll require patience and most importantly, finding out Anderson’s favoured position. Actually, news just in, Anderson has explained his comments (phew): “What I said was, later in my career, I’d happily return to Porto or Gremio, my old clubs.” Cheers. His future may come into question, and it will do again sometime – but, for the moment, Old Trafford is his home.