Manchester United has announced that their midfield magician, Anderson, has put pen-to-paper on a new long-term deal keeping him at the club until 2015.
The negotiations were clearly ongoing well-before the long-haired midfielder reestablished himself as a member of the the squad, but the confidence of the new deal has led Anderson to start the last four United games in all competitions.
So far, Anderson, whose full name is Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira, has had a very stop-start career at Old Trafford, and the United supporters have seen glimpses of his oozing potential, so is he really worth a new four-and-a-half year deal, though?
The 22-year old was always seen as a “player for the future” by Sir Alex Ferguson when he arrived from FC Porto in 2007, but he is now at a good age where he can start paying back the confirmed €30 million that he cost United (Please keep in mind the pound was worth a lot more back in 2007 than it is now in 2010).
There has been no question that the United boss wants to keep the nucleus of the team together, because of the benefits of that approach offers, and when coupled with the going rate of industrious center midfielders skyrocketing, it was a complete no brainer for Ferguson to offer Anderson the new deal.
Prior to him signing the new long-term deal, Anderson was being constantly linked with moves to Greece, because of he has yet to captivate Sir Alex to warrant a place in the squad – let alone the starting XI.
In his first three-and-a-half seasons at United, Anderson has only made 59 Barclays Premier League starts for United, which equals just over 45% of the games – which was partly down to him suffering a season-ending cruciate injury last February against West Ham United.
The Brazilian, though, has earned eight caps with the national team, which undeniably shows how good he can be, but his inability to add goals to his game has to be the telling factor as to why he has been limited him to only 110 career appearances, and has to be a real concern.
Ando has only scored two very lonely goals for a pathetic 0.02 goals-to-game average – but he does have a sweet left foot and can handle pressure, which is why he was selected by Sir Alex to be one of the first five to take a penalty, which he converted both, in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2009 Carling Cup Final.
However, Anderson’s steel performances against two of United’s best rivals, Liverpool and Arsenal, earned him a place in the hearts of supporters by making their respective captains, Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas, look completely average.
Now, Anderson has to realize his potential sooner rather than later, and his performance against Blackburn and Arsenal will do no harm to grow his confidence.
One fact needs to be mentioned, and that is signing a long deal does not cement Anderson’s future is at Old Trafford, because as we have seen with the Wayne Rooney, and now Carlos Tevez, debacles, contracts are just pieces of paper with words on it.
It will be interesting to see how Anderson fits into Sir Alex Ferguson’s long-term plans at Manchester United, and hopefully he will grasp the potential that the manager sees in him with both hands.