Writer, broadcaster and Italian football expert Gabriele Marcotti runs the rule over West Ham United’s record signing Felipe Anderson…
Manuel Pellegrini has got a history of recruiting the players he wants and getting the best out of them and he will hope to do so again with Felipe Anderson.
His preferred 4-2-3-1 formation is really ideal for him. A lot will depend on who plays in the hole too, as he likes to pick up the ball and cut inside and combine with his No10.
He is athletic, two-footed and can therefore play on either wing and be equally effective, and his goalscoring record is good for a player who is not a striker.
Pellegrini will want him to provide that creativity and productivity but, like any winger, Felipe Anderson can be unpredictable and inconsistent.
However, he is not a winger who hides. He works hard for his team and will always be involved in the game.
It is not as if Felipe Anderson has just arrived from Brazil. He has spent five seasons with a big club in one of Europe’s top leagues, so he is used to the mental and physical pressures.
At 25, he is coming into the prime of his career and, if his manager shows faith and commitment to him, he can produce his very best football in the future.
West Ham will have assessed all this before taking the decision to sign him.
A couple of years ago, people were comparing Felipe Anderson to Neymar and he was being linked with a potential move to Chelsea or Manchester United.
Since then, I think it’s fair to say that things have not gone quite so well for him, as first he was hurt by injuries and then, when he got fit, he was not played in his best position at Lazio.
Last season, he didn’t play at all before December due to a groin injury and, when he returned to the squad, Simone Inzaghi had settled on Adam Marusic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Marco Parolo on the right side of his midfield and he initially had to settle for coming off the substitutes’ bench.
However, his form was good, particularly in the UEFA Europa League, and he got back into the team and started eight of Lazio’s last ten Serie A matches as they challenged for UEFA Champions League qualification.
I would say Felipe Anderson was more productive in the second half of last season than he was in the previous campaign.
West Ham’s potential front four of Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko, Marko Arnautovic and Jack Wilshere is definitely one to get excited about!
Yarmolenko is a veteran player whose production throughout his career cannot be questioned. I think West Ham is a better fit for him than Borussia Dortmund.
It will be interesting to see how those four fit together and it could be a case of feast or famine.
It’s a challenge for Pellegrini to get it to work but, if he does, West Ham will be a fun team to watch.