Is West Ham record signing Felipe Anderson the new Payet?
PUBLISHED: 13:30 10 August 2018
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Brazilian star will be the Hammers main man
When West Ham finally cracked the resolve of Serie A giants Lazio and agreed a deal to bring Felipe Anderson to the London Stadium, it was a huge step forward for the club, writes Dave Evans.
When former boss Slaven Bilic had made Dimitri Payet his top priority when he arrived, it had not been that difficult to sign a 28-year-old who nobody else seemed to want.
Anderson was a very different kettle of fish.
The Brazilian is just 25, beginning to reach the peak of his powers and he had enjoyed a fine season with the Italians.
There were no shortage of suitors for the midfield man, so why did he decide on a move to West Ham which could reach a club record £42million?
“It has always been a dream to play in one of the biggest and most competitive leagues in the world,” he said.
“I just want to show my value here.”
Anderson has already shown flashes of what the fans can expect from his this season.
A stunning reverse pass to Arthur Masuaku led to a goal against Aston Villa, while he nodded in a cross from Ryan Fredericks at Ipswich.
“What attracted me was the traditions of the club and the value that they have put in me – they believe in me,” he added through an interpreter.
“That is why I didn’t hesitate in the decision. I just made the decision based on that – it was easy.”
Where Anderson fits into Manuel Pellegrini’s team is not crystal clear yet.
He has been playing on the left side of midfield, but he can also ply his trade in the middle of the park, where he may be more effective.
One thing is for sure, though, Pellegrini is a big fan of the player who scored 34 goals and managed 42 assists in 177 appearances for Lazio.
“I followed him at Lazio and tried to bring him to Manachester City,” said Pellegrini.
“Getting him demonstrates that David Sullivan is willing to build a big team here. Last season the fans were always criticising David Sullivan, but he convinced me that he was going to bring in good players.”
It certainly looks like they have come up trumps with Anderson and though he may make a more subtle impact than Payet did, he is expected to be the player that Pellegrini will build his team around.
“Personally, I’ve always watched the Premier League and I’ve been following the great players of West Ham like Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano,” he added.
There have been many West Ham attacking players who have become stars and club legends. Maybe Anderson will follow them and be the next one to become a hero.