As another great endorsement of the magnificent Manchester United coach, you would have to say that Louis van Gaal is something of a football alchemist.
Few would have given Marouane Fellaini a chance of success at Old Trafford at the start of the season. But he has improved massively and discreetly become a regular member of the 1st XI. Ashley Young is playing out of his skin under the Dutchman. Noone is calling Wayne Rooney past it anymore. And even Juan Mata has added sharpness and urgency to his game over the last few weeks.
But, if he can pull this one off, then we really will have to doff our caps to the maestro. Because Anderson looks so far out the door that it’s almost impossible to imagine him reviving his Manchester United career. But there appears to be unlikely hope for the Brazilian, signed for £26m in 2007 and heralded as future great, as LvG stated:
“He’s now coming back,” Van Gaal said.
“He was injured but he’s training now with the team. I cannot say what had happened last year but in my four months here, he’s had a lot of injuries.
“So I cannot judge him but when he trains he trains at a good level. He’s not always fit and that is more his problem now.
It’s not exactly ringing reassurance for the player. But nor is Louis closing the door on Anderson. And the salient word here is ‘fit.’ Anderson, although poor in front of goal, is a decent midfielder. But he tends to burn brightly for short periods before fading out due to fitness problems.
But, if he could get fit, he may well offer a viable option for midfield once more.
We don’t think that Manchester United are shelving plans to buy a new midfielder just yet. But Van Gaal is obviously a top coach and if anyone can turn Anderson’s career around you’d be confident that it’s the new United manager.
United fans: any hope for Anderson?