An injury that keeps a player out for two months should never be classed as ‘career threatening’ yet if you’ll forgive me for the slight melodrama, Anderson’s latest knock could put his United prospects in jeopardy.
This season the Brazilian has been something of a revelation, finally it seems fulfilling the potential he showed when he first arrived at Old Trafford. It amazing to think that was over five years ago now that Anderson joined from Porto and despite glimpses we’ve yet to see a full season of decent football from him.
At the beginning of the last campaign Anderson formed a partnership with Tom Cleverley which decimated sides the way United’s midfield used to many years ago, before an injury to the Englishman seemed to make the Brazilian’s season implode. It’s not just form that Anderson’s struggled with it’s fitness and injury. Over the past five years Anderson has missed large chunks of each season through injury and more tellingly has never looked the same player returning from a knock as he did before it.
The latest hamstring injury was at first reported as keeping Anderson out for three to four weeks but now there’s been reports that it could be a tear that sidelines him until February. That’s the problem, should Ando come back in February looking overweight or struggling for fitness, he may not be given the chance to fully earn his place back in the side as ‘squeaky bum time’ beckons. There’s also the fact that United may buy a midfielder in January, possibly moving Anderson down the pecking order somewhat.
The most Premier League starts Anderson has made in a season is 16 – back in 2007/08 and you have to wonder just how long Sir Alex will persist with a player who seems to take one step forward then another one back, almost perrenially.
Like most Reds, I’ve warmed to Anderson again this season -after losing patience with him somewhat in the last campaign, I just hope we see the same driving force we saw against the likes of QPR and Reading and not what we witnessed as too many points during 2011/12.