Felipe Anderson has been on Manchester United’s radar for quite a long time. The Brazilian playmaker has been rumored as a potential transfer target for The Red Devils several times over the past two seasons, but he remains at Lazio despite all the transfer talk surrounding him. But considering Manchester United will play in the UEFA Champions League next season, Anderson would be a very good signing for the upcoming campaign.
There is no question the 24-year-old Brazilian is a special talent. He has been featuring for Lazio regularly over the last few years, but his game took a few steps forward this past season. His tactical versatility made him play all over the final third, but his best moments came when he was on the right wing.
That is exactly the role he would fulfill in case he arrives to Old Trafford. After all, Jesse Lingard is the only natural right winger on the squad. And there is no question Felipe Anderson would be an upgrade. Granted, United might miss a bit of pace with this potential swap. But the team would gain creativity, flair, and experience. Even though Anderson is only 24, he has been a regular starter in the Serie A for the past three years.
Advantages of his potential arrival
One of the big advantages Anderson would give the side is his versatility, as mentioned above. The Brazilian featured most of the season as a right wing, but also played in several other roles. We saw him as a right-wing back on a three-man defensive line. He also played as a “False 9”, dropping deep as a second forward behind Ciro Immobile. And also featured a few games on the left wing, but failed to thrive.
That tactical versatility would potentially allow Mourinho to deploy anywhere on the final third. His vision, skill, and creativity would make him the perfect complement for other of our creative midfielders such as Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, or Henrikh Mkhitaryan. For what is worth, Anderson finished the season with five goals and 14 assists in 41 appearances for Lazio across all competitions. He would have led the team in assists last season had he been playing for United.
One thing that needs to be pointed out is that Anderson wants to play at Old Trafford. He recently stated he “dreams” of playing for Manchester United. That kind of motivation is hard to find elsewhere, especially considering he is already one of the top players in the Serie A.
Main points against him
But the main point against him is his reluctancy to work off the ball. We know Mourinho prefers hard-working players on top of those who do not give their all on the defensive end of the pitch. And knowing how the Portuguese tactician handles his team, Anderson might not last long in his plans.
Another point to focus is the current squad, as it is not short on attacking midfielders. Mkhitaryan, Mata, Lingard, Pogba, and even Anthony Martial have been playing on the wings. Adding Anderson would crowd the field even more, and someone would have to leave in order to make space for the former Santos youngster. So it is not out of the question that we see one or two departures before his potential arrival.
Talent-wise, Anderson would fit perfectly in Mourinho’s plans. His defensive output could be a concern, but his ability on the final third would give the side a big plus. And if United wants to contend for major silverware in the near future, then adding a special talent such as the Brazilian seems like a no-brainer. He would be a solid addition to the side thanks to his talent and tactical versatility.