Manchester United supporters won’t have Anderson to kick around for much longer, after the 25-year-old underwent a medical with Fiorentina on Friday.
The Serie A club’s official Twitter account provides news of Anderson’s pending deal, although it remains unclear if his move will be permanent, per Sky Sports:
It was widely expected that the Brazilian midfielder would be heading to Serie A. Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday, Jan. 16 that Anderson was in Italy ahead of securing his move.
Few United supporters are likely to shed a tear.
Anderson came into the club with massive expectations in 2007. United spent a reported £17.3 million to acquire him from Porto. That hefty price tag speaks to what was his potential back then, but in the years since arriving at Manchester United, it has never come together for the player.
During his seven years with the club, he has made 104 Premier League appearances, scoring five goals and assisting on another eight. He also scored three goals and registered three assists in 40 Champions League appearances.
Even for a midfielder like Anderson, those numbers are pretty substandard.
His weight has often been a point of contention, as many have remarked that he isn’t fit enough to play in the Premier League week in and week out. While he isn’t fat by normal standards, he has appeared to be out of peak fitness for large parts of his Old Trafford stay.
It had become a bit of a joke, and one that even his teammates began playing into, per Jamie Jackson of The Guardian:
United may have been kind, handing him a fresh four-and-a-half-year contract in 2010, but the dressing room’s unforgiving arena has offered a crueller truth, which has come wrapped in players’ humour. In Rio Ferdinand’s pre-season tour diary of last summer, the defender and Patrice Evra joked about Anderson’s appetite and how the left-back would deliver burgers for him to eat.
As bad as things are for Anderson, Fiorentina offer the chance for a fresh start.
Will Anderson revive his career away from Manchester United?
Now that he’s heading away from Old Trafford, he won’t have to deal with a skeptical media and a supporter base that loathes every second he’s on the pitch.
In addition, Anderson is still only 25 years old. It feels like he’s much older since he moved to England at such a young age, but he’s right in the middle of his playing prime. Some players develop much later in their careers, and it’s not until they hit their mid-to-late 20s that everything comes together.
With the right kind of manager and the right kind of tactics, he could thrive.
One can surmise that this is a defining moment for Anderson. If it doesn’t come together for him at Fiorentina, it likely never will.