West Ham Opinion: Hammers should hold on to Felipe Anderson
According to the Daily Mail, Real Madrid have lined up West Ham star Felipe Anderson as a cheaper alternative to Eden Hazard, with reports claiming that the Brazilian is high on new manager Zinedine Zidane’s wishlist.
Madrid have been long-term admirers of Hazard but Chelsea might be reluctant to cash in on their prized asset due to the transfer ban, which has prompted the Los Blancos to turn their attention to Anderson and Liverpool star Sadio Mane. (h/t Daily Mail)
Brought in as a part of West Ham’s spending spree last summer, Anderson signed for a club-record fee of £36 million from Lazio and has emerged as arguably the best performer for the Hammers in the Premier League this season.
The Brazilian has thrived in Manuel Pellegrini’s free-flowing attacking philosophy, playing a key role down the left and accumulating 8 goals and 4 assists from 31 Premier League appearances.
Despite spending a fortune to bring in several top-quality players last summer, West Ham have endured a campaign full of highs and lows, with injuries and inconsistencies playing a big part.
However, Anderson has proven himself to be an exception, not only keeping himself fit through a hectic and tiring schedule but also showing high levels of consistency.
West Ham have adopted a completely different philosophy under Pellegrini, with the Hammers investing in top-class players to facilitate a more attractive brand of passing football including aesthetic build-up play to close the gap on the top-six.
Barring those injury problems, it would be fair to say that Pellegrini has taken some major steps towards transforming West Ham’s fortunes and the man who has been at the centre of it all is none other than Felipe Anderson.
Playing in his preferred position out wide on the left, Anderson has not only posed a threat to the opposition with his pace and trickery on the ball but he has also shown his well-rounded abilities as a world-class playmaker.
Blessed with incredible vision and a good understanding of the game, Anderson has exploited the half spaces in the opposition’s defence brilliantly.
While he hasn’t hesitated to run at his opposite number with his pace and direct approach, Anderson has also impressed with his ability to link-up with his teammates and create chances with defence-splitting through balls.
The Brazilian gets the perfect weight, elevation and swirl on his crosses and lobbed passes into the box, often laying the ball on a platter for the centre-forward.
It is not only his playmaking abilities that would have caught the eyes of Real Madrid. As evident from his displays, Anderson is a good goalscorer who has the ability to turn the game on its head with moments of individual brilliance.
Be it wreaking havoc through the opposition’s defence on the break or unleashing curling shots from outside the box- Anderson boasts of plentiful finesse and flair in his style of play which makes him an absolute treat to watch.
Moreover, he is a tireless worker off the ball as well, often tracking back and throwing himself to make useful tackles and break up the play.
Anderson has registered 55 key passes, 44 shots, 32 interceptions and 73 tackles so far in the Premier League, figures which show what an invaluable asset he is to a team like West Ham.
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Well, the Hammers would bag a massive profit by selling Anderson to West Ham but they would have to spend heavily once again to land a like-for-like replacement for the Brazilian.
Besides the risk involved in signing another player for a hefty fee, selling Anderson would be a step backwards for West Ham and it could spell potential disaster for their long-term objectives. Hence, they should hold on to Anderson all all costs and not give in to lucrative offers from the La Liga giants.