West Ham United have made a terrible start to life under Manuel Pellegrini this season, with the Hammers picking up a total of just 7 points from the opening 8 games of the season. The London club were also beaten by a resilient Brighton and Hove Albion last week.
A flurry of new players arrived in the summer and most have taken their time to settle in. However, one man has made a major influence and it is Felipe Anderson. The Brazilian was signed from Italian outfit Lazio in the summer for £36m and immediately kicked off things in a positive manner.
He has so far started all 8 Premier League games this season and seems to be a crucial component in Pellegrini’s system. The Brazilian possesses the drive and energy that allows him to work tirelessly on and off the ball.
He is extremely motivated and has shown great determination in his displays. Anderson has flourished playing on the left side of the 4-3-3 formation under the Chilean this season. He was also impressive playing as a left midfielder in the 4-1-4-1 system Pellegrini deployed against the Seagulls last weekend.
The 25-year-old has shown exceptional work rate and is often seen tracking back to support the defence as well. Anderson picks up the ball from deep areas and surges forward, leaving a number of defenders in his wake. His directness on the ball makes it very hard for his markers to keep him at bay.
The former Sampdoria star has already picked up 1 goal and 1 assist this season. He is unfortunate not to have more, with the Hammers otherwise putting up largely lacklustre displays in their games. West Ham United were left worried due to the injury suffered by playmaker Manuel Lanzini before the start of the World Cup. (Stats courtesy – Whoscored)
The midfielder has not only missed the World Cup but will also be sidelined for a major chunk of the season. But Pellegrini shouldn’t be too worried as a player like Felipe Anderson is doing well. Though the midfielder has just 1 assist so far, it’s his underlying statistics that tell us the whole story.
Anderson has supplied a total of 38 crosses into the box this season, which is the most by any West Ham player. While the offensive statistics might be low due to West Ham’s poor record in front of the goal, it’s the Brazilian’s defensive work that requires a special mention.
He has made a total of 27 tackles and 11 interceptions in the league so far. Anderson has also made a whopping 54 successful recoveries as he often shows the willingness to push back and press the players in possession. (Stats courtesy – Premier League)
As the Premier League returns this weekend, Anderson will definitely continue to play a key role for the Hammers this season. He is one of their leading driving forces so far and nobody has shown more urgency for West Ham than the Brazilian. Anderson is quickly becoming a favourite at the London Stadium.
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