Why Felipe Anderson won’t let West Ham United miss Manuel Lanzini
West Ham United were in brilliant form during pre-season and yet, the Hammers were unable to clinch a victory against Liverpool in their opening game of the season. The Reds ran out 4-0 victors at Anfield, completely outplaying the visitors in every aspect.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men must aim to put up a renewed performance against Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, who beat Cardiff City in their first game of the season. Although the Hammers endured a lacklustre afternoon at Anfield, one player particularly caught the eye.
Debuting for the first time in a West Ham shirt, Felipe Anderson was quite powerful for the club. The Londoners signed the midfielder from Lazio for a fee of around £35million, which will potentially rise to £42million after add-ons. The Brazilian joined the Hammers on a four-year deal which will effectively keep him at the club till 2022 (h/t Skysports).
Anderson looked lively against the Reds, surging forward with the ball from deep in his own half, trying to make things happen. Most of the midfield play was dominated by Liverpool but Anderson occasionally popped up out of the blue to pick up a loose ball and push forward.
The Brazilian was deployed on the left side of a three-man attacking midfield system alongside Jack Wilshere and Michail Antonio. He looked energetic during the initial stages but faded away as the game wore on. However, that was largely due to the Hammers’ collective dismal performance.
Anderson displayed his impressive work rate in the middle of the park, constantly running to win loose balls. The midfielder also effectively tracked back a number of times to support the defence. If not for some of his vital interceptions, Liverpool’s tantalizing attacking trio would have enjoyed greater fortune. Anderson also stopped Sadio Mane on a number of occasions.
Suffice to say, Anderson was one of their driving forces in the midfield and looked confident on the ball. The former Lazio midfielder averaged a pass success rate of 84.6% in the game against Liverpool. He possesses impressive vision and creativity which Marko Arnautovic will certainly thrive off in the near future.
Anderson is an intelligent midfielder who possesses cutting-edge in the final third. He could be West Ham’s go-to man this season.
As the Hammers work towards gelling together, the Brazilian will certainly play a key role in Manuel Pellegrini’s squad. With his formidable presence in the midfield, West Ham might not even miss Manuel Lanzini this season.