Date:Monday June 4 2007
Full Name: Anderson Luis De Abreu Oliveira
DOB: 13th April 1988 (Age 19)
Position(s): LM, RM, CM, AMF, FC
Fee: Reported to be around £14.5 million
Upon hearing the news of Utd`s double transfer swoop, I think most fans (including myself) were left more surprised by the signing of the 19 year old whiz-kid from Brazil, Anderson. Don`t get me wrong, when I say surprised I mean that in the most positive way possible, it`s just when Sir Alex said they were after three summer transfer targets, I don`t think Anderson would have immediately slipped off the tongue of any Manchester United fan. Having said that, there is no doubt that this kid has bag`s of talent, and the potential to become a great player, with international coach Dunga stating that "With his strength, power and pace he can be a big success in Europe and one of the very best in the world in years to come". Hopefully Dunga is right, and Anderson can become a true Manchester United legend.
Anderson Luis De Abreu Oliveira (a.k.a. Anderson) was born in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, birthplace of one other famous Brazilian, Ronaldinho. Anderson actually started his career at Gremio, the Brazilian club which had also seen the start of Ronaldinho`s rise to fame, and it was here that Anderson became a cult hero, when at the tender age of just 17, scored the winning goal which took Gremio into the top tier of Brazilian football - in a game that saw FOUR Gremio players sent off. Later that year, in April 2005, Anderson made international debut with the under-17`s at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, and his performances throughout the competition led to him being named player of the tournament, an honour which had been previously won by none other than Arsenal`s Cesc Fabregas. As a result of his performances in the competition, in December 2005, after just 5 appearances for Gremio, Anderson was whisked away to Europe by Portuguese champions Porto. In Andersons first full season (which would ironically be his last) he helped the team qualify from the Champions League Group Stage, as well as regain their Portuguese title, however a broken leg restricted his chances to play. On May 30th 2007, Manchester United confirmed the signing of Anderson from Porto. Though it is unknown, the transfer fee is rumoured to be in the region of £14.5 million, which I know is pretty steep, but if he can emulate even half of Ronaldinho, a player in which Anderson has been regularly compared to - it is sure to be money well spent.
Personally, I think that this signing is one of the most positive ever done by Sir Alex. Not only does it show our commitment to the future, but also signals our reputation worldwide, as we are able to get what many people describe as the most exciting young players in world football, against the lure of Chelsea, Arsenal, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus - all teams which were rumoured to have an interest in him. I think that this signing, along with that of Nani can reassure Utd fans that even after Giggs and Scholes move on, the Manchester United way of playing football - fast, one-touch, clever and skilfull football that can rival, if not beat that of Arsenal`s style of play, is sure to live on. I mean with players such as Anderson, Nani, Rooney and Ronaldo imagine the breathtaking skills and wonderful moments we will be fortunate to see in the future, and the idea of it alone is enough to justify why I believe Anderson will become a true Manchester United great.
Having said that however, I am still left bemused to how these two will fit into our squad in the short term. The arrival of Hargreaves left many United fans thinking how he would fit into our squad, and whether his arrival would lead to a change in formation. But with the arrival of two more midfield players has left me utterly confused. Now despite such idiotic rumours, Scholes is certain to be at Utd next year, and with him, along with Carrick and Hargreaves I think there is little chance of Anderson being deployed in the centre of midfield, and with Giggs, Ronaldo, Park, Richardson and Nani, I think we are covered in wide positions. This leads me to think that Sir Alex may choose a similar decision to that of arch-rival Arsene Wenger, and much like Thierry Henry, Sir Alex may opt to convert the midfielder into a striker to play alongside Wayne Rooney. Now I know Anderson can play up top, but he is without a doubt mainly midfield-based and so the change would probably take some time to settle in. Another option, a rumour which has become rapidly more popular here amongst Utd fans, would be to switch Cristiano Ronaldo from wide right to up front alongside Rooney, thus allowing Anderson to occupy the right-side of midfield. Though this idea sounds good, I personally don`t think that these 4 will ever have a 'set` formation. The key to our success this season has been the ability of Ronaldo, Rooney, Giggs and even Scholes to switch positions, and confuse opposition defences. The fast-paced nature of our attacks, along with the unpredictable movement led many defences astray and resulted, more often than not to goal scoring opportunities. However, with the introduction of Anderson and Nani - I think we can go one better with each player able to switch into each other`s positions with ease, with Wayne Rooney able to play upfront or wide left, Ronaldo able to play wide right/left and upfront, as can Nani, and Anderson can play all across the midfield as well as upfront.
So, in conclusion, I think that the signing of Anderson is excellent for the club, and though in the short-term it may seem like a lot of money spent (which it is) I am sure that Anderson will find his feet at Manchester United, and I am completely convinced he will become a fantastic player. This is certainly a signing for the future, however I still think that Anderson has a lot to offer us, and with skills like these I predict another special season for Manchester United and Anderson.
Article written by united4life
Date:Monday June 4 2007
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