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Talking Tactics

Anderson flair can set the league alight

Adrian Clarke 30 Jul 2018
Felipe Anderson, West Ham

In the Brazilian winger West Ham United have signed the third-best dribbler in European football last season

Adrian Clarke analyses the tactical impact Premier League summer signings will have on their clubs.

Felipe Anderson

Felipe Anderson’s move to West Ham United is undoubtedly one of the most exciting of the summer transfer window.

The club-record signing from Lazio is a creative attacking midfielder who is skillful and extremely quick, especially when accelerating from a standing start. 

The Brazilian is an expert at surging past his markers with explosive bursts of pace.

Anderson is rightly regarded as one of European football’s finest dribblers.

He completed six successful dribbles per 90 minutes in Serie A last season, the third-most in Europe’s top five leagues.

Only Eden Hazard, of Chelsea, and Neymar, of Paris Saint-Germain, could better that with 6.1 and 7.1 respectively.

West Ham fans are going to enjoy watching him play.

What's his best position?

Anderson has all the attributes you would normally associate with a winger, but does not like to be restricted to one position.

While previous managers have tried him out on the flanks, Anderson’s best performances have almost exclusively come as a No 10 behind the striker.

In that free role the Brazilian will receive passes on the half-turn in pockets of space, or drift wide to take on opposing full-backs.

On a high

A serious groin injury sidelined Anderson until December last season, but after working his way back to fitness with a series of substitute appearances, he finished the campaign in tremendous form.

He scored eight goals and produced 10 assists in all competitions for Lazio, ending 2017/18 on a high.

Anderson may have been inconsistent during his time in Italy but West Ham have bought a player who is enjoying a fabulous 2018.

Anderson in all competitions
2017/18 Total
Appearances 32
Starts 15
Minutes played 1759
Goals 8
Assists 10
Easing Lanzini loss 

The absence of injured playmaker Manuel Lanzini is a major blow for new West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini.

But in Anderson the Hammers now have a creative player with the potential to deliver just as much quality inside the final third, if not more.

Anderson has a lovely eye for a slide-rule pass. His right foot can supply plenty of chances for forwards Chicharito and Marko Arnautovic from central or wide areas.

He created on average three chances per 90 minutes in Serie A last season. 

Anderson per 90 in Serie A
2017/18 Total
Dribbles attempted 10.6
Dribbles completed 6.0
Chances created 3.0
Open-play crosses 3.2
Shots 2.0
Tackles 2.7
Forward thrusts

The 25-year-old will also make forward runs beyond the strikers.

For Lazio last season he frequently used his pace to break through and create one-on-ones with goalkeepers.

It is an attribute that he showed in scoring his first West Ham goal in a friendly win over Ipswich Town on Saturday.

Premier League defenders will find the hardworking Anderson an unpredictable and evasive opponent.

Provided he is given the freedom to roam, the South American’s flair and improvisation could set the competition alight.

See: Talking Tactics - 2018/19 summer transfers

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