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Anderson – A Little Bit of Scholes and Keane?

Anderson vs GerrardWhen it was announced that United had signed teenager Anderson for a fee that could rise to £19 million, the country thought Fergie was barking. It was questioned how any player so young could be worth such a fee, particularly one that had never played in the Premiership before. The transition from one league to another has proved to be the stumbling block for players in the past. South Americans Juan Sebastian Veron and Diego Forlan proved themselves as top players in Europe, but when they moved to the Premiership, they were shown up. Veron was one of the best midfielders in Europe before he came to the Premiership, and Forlan showed himself as a quality striker once he had left the more difficult league in England. What was Ferguson thinking about bringing in some Brazilian kid for £19 million??

Well that question has already been answered, after just fifteen games for United. He first got people talking when he came on as a substitute after just twenty minutes against Wigan. Thrown on due to an injury to Vidic, Anderson held his weight in our midfield, and even set up one of the goals. He continued to impress on our away trip to Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, bossing the midfield despite being partnered with the rather useless Darren Fletcher. However, it was his performance against Arsenal that really caught the attention of the Premiership. With the whole World watching, Anderson was our Man of the Match, stifling the usually impressive midfield of Fabregas and Flamini.

“Anderson has been absolutely superb,” said Ferguson, following the Arsenal game. “The boy has definitely got something special. There was an urgency to get him once we’d scouted him, even though he’d broken his leg and had been out for four or five months. The reports we were getting were saying that he was the best young player in the world. At the time, I was saying, ‘For God’s sake, let’s calm down a bit here.’ I knew he had real potential, but I didn’t want to put labels on him like that. But we’ve been delighted with him and he has proven himself to be a true central midfield player. He can tackle, he’s lightning quick, he’s brave and he can pass the ball.” Not content to leave it at that, Fergie wanted to get in one last dig. “Fabregas is going through a golden period at Arsenal,” he said, “but I thought Anderson dominated that position.”

He then went on to make the difference for us when he came on with half an hour left to play against Bolton, and left us wondering why Ferguson hadn’t opted to play him from the start over Carrick.

Last weekend saw us defeat Liverpool at Anfield, again, and despite a heavyweight midfield of Gerrard and Mascherano, Anderson yet again came out on top, holding his ground and showing no fear. He also cleared the ball off the line following one of Van der Sar’s fuckups.

Paul Scholes absence is usually one that effects us more than any other player, but Anderson is putting in the effort and the performances which result in us not missing our Ginger Prince half as much as we would have imagined.

Today, Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken out praising our young Brazilian, claiming he bears similarities to both Scholes and Keane. “Anderson is a fantastic player and it’s no surprise to anyone at United that he is playing so well,” Ronaldo said. “He is young, but has done a great job since he came to us. He is a man. Just because he is only 19, it doesn’t mean he can’t compete with players who are older and more experienced than him. At Liverpool he showed just why the manager decided to sign him. He was strong, he had no fear and he was one of the best players on the pitch. Anderson is a different player to Scholes or Keane, but he has similar qualities to them. Every player has his own style, his own mentality, and Anderson is showing people what great qualities he has.”

He is still young and it is impossible to state how good he will become, however all the signs are right for Anderson at the moment. Before his first game, I imagined Anderson to be an extremely creative player, in the Scholes mould, but possibly rather lightweight until he learnt the ways of the Premiership. Whilst his creative nature is apparent, with Anderson showing the ability to spray the ball all over the park, we have also seen an element of Keano in him. He’s a fighter and a tough tackler, he’s bossed the top midfields in the league, and wins the ball in situations he has no right to. Maybe Ronaldo really has exposed something here. Maybe Anderson has the potential to show talents representing a combination of two of the best midfielders United have ever known?

How excited are you about Anderson? Does he have the potential to be one of our greatest?


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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9 Comments

  1. Stephen says:

    Anderson looks class, about time we had a midfielder of his potential. We have suffered in the past of O’Shea, Fletcher and to some degree Giggs. Lets hope he just gets better, Carrick needs to watch him and learn how how it tackle!

  2. Nick says:

    I have to be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever been so wrong about a player as I have been about Anderson. When Scholes got injured I feared that could put paye to our season, the old adage that when Scholes play United plays still rings true in my mind. I was sure Anderson’s lack of experience and shakey few appearances would mean he’d not be able to fill Scholes boots.

    I’m glad to say I was clearly wrong, he’s been fantastic, a great eye for a pass, very strong on the ball and great work rate has seen him fit straight in and go toe to toe with Arsenals and Liverpools best midfielders.

    A great buy by the master, he’s only going to get better.

  3. Anekin says:

    The BOy has got something Special.
    – AIG

  4. Sagar says:

    The boys a bit special and he’s at the right club to develop his talent!

  5. ManUtd9Titles says:

    I was really up in the air about who to get on the back of my ManUtd kit. After the Arsenal game no more…Anderson it is. This kid is going to be huge. As mentioned in the article, we are not really missing Scholes at the moment. Gotta love it!!!

    Glory, glory!!!!

  6. Taehr says:

    We have played better with anderson than scholes this season.that says it all.

  7. Pibbles says:

    I thought Anderson might be the new Kleberson….i’ve never been so glad to be proved wrong. MUFC 4 life

  8. denton davey says:

    Agree that this kid has a great, great future – and we’ve yet to see much of his attacking prowess !

    I’ve been really impressed with his strength on the ball and in defence as well as his composure under pressure.

    For a guy who suffered a major leg injury last year, Anderson has been simply awesome in a new team, in a new league, in a new country.

    The sky is the limit. I hope.

  9. sdoc99 says:

    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
    remember this?!.. anderson not good enough to lace keane or scholes boots!

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