Lazio are an ever growing team in Serie A and after some very average seasons they look to be building a strong squad with a good crop of young promising players; Jordan Lukaku, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Keita, but more importantly Brazilian Felipe Anderson. He came into his own this season and it’s only a matter of time he gets that big move.
Who is he?
Anderson signed for Lazio from Brazilian club Santos for €7.8m in 2013 and really made his mark on the scene in the 2014/2015 season when he averaged a rating of 7.47, scoring 10, getting 5 assists and 8 MOTM awards – this attracted suitors all over the globe and has been on the tops clubs radar ever since.
He had a underwelming 2015/2016 season as he dropped under the radar and give a lot of fans the impression he flopped, but this season he came back and has been sensational – but still going under the radar with the likes of Mertens, Insigne and Keita overshadowing his achievements this season.
The 24-year-old finished 6th in WhoScored Serie A ratings this season with a 7.62 rating. He may have had his worst goal scoring season since 2013, but he registered 9 assists and was crucial in Lazio getting back on track and showcasing himself to world football.
How does he play?
Anderson is a typical attacker, he loves to run at defenders and create chances for both himself and his teammates, but what makes him one of the best underrated wingers is his defensive contribution, he doesn’t switch off when his team aren’t in possession and the Brazilian loves a tackle and won’t shy away from a 50/50.
The ex-Santos man shows great intelligence in attack, he always knows where his teammates are and plays them smart passes which so little players can execute.
With the highest amount of successful dribbles in Serie A, his biggest strength is his dribbling – what makes him a great dribbler is he has a trick in any situation and knows to attack with purpose. A lot of young players will attack a defender not know his strengths and weaknesses or knowing what tricks will work in what situation, but Anderson has that game experience and intelligence to know all of the above.
Anderson has a great passing ability and loves a switch of play, as said before his defensive contribution and ability is a massive strength of Anderson, but his overall game is quality and in a year or two we could be saying his strengths are endsless.
Despite being such a great all-round player, Anderson does have some ‘minor’ weaknesses. The Brazilian lacks aerial ability and his heading ability isn’t the best and that is somewhat expected of from a small wide man.
Anderson also doesn’t have that game management ability to hold onto the ball against the back of a defender, again it’s a minor weakness, but every attribute matters and just having that extra ability in your locker will make you a better player.
Where could go?
In my opinion Liverpool would be a fantastic fit for Anderson, the defensive side of his game fits the bill to the playstyle of Liverpool and would be a like-for-like replacement for Philippe Coutinho if he was to leave.
The Premier League would be a great match for Anderson and I think it could defiantly happen in the future. Manchester United and Arsenal could both do with his service, he would also fit Tottenham Hotspur playstyle very well, only time will tell where Felipe Anderson will end up.