Sir Alex Ferguson questions Anderson's future with Manchester United
25 August 2009 11:38
Anderson, 21, has made just one Premier League appearance this season – a poor 60 minute outing in the 1-0 defeat at Burnley last week – and it has been reported that the former Porto midfielder complained to Ferguson after being omitted from the squad for the Community Shield clash against Chelsea at Wembley earlier this month.
Having arrived at United in a £19m transfer from Porto in 2007, Anderson, has struggled impose himself on Ferguson's first-team.
In 77 senior outings, Anderson has failed to score for United and his performance during the Champions League final defeat against Barcelona in Roma last May is understood to have prompted Ferguson's concerns over the player's ability to succeed at Old Trafford.
The United manager has spoken this summer of the need for Anderson and Portuguese winger Nani to step up to the plate this season following the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ferguson is also keen to see signs that both players are capable of becoming long-term successors to Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs respectively.
Darren Fletcher's emergence as a key figure over the past 12 months and the development of Republic of Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson have increased competition at the heart of United's midfield.
And Ferguson has noted Anderson's failure to stamp his mark on games when he has been selected ahead of the likes of Fletcher and Michael Carrick.
Despite suggestions that Anderson has been told he will be sold, Ferguson remains determined to continue to push the player towards his best form.
Anderson arrived from Porto as a 19-year-old with a reputation as one of the world's brightest young talents and both Ferguson and his staff at United believe that he still possesses the attributes to live up to that billing.
Ironically, Anderson may be handed the opportunity to shine this weekend when Ferguson selects his team to face Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Brazilian has regularly impressed against Arsene Wenger's team, particularly against Cesc Fabregas, who misses this weekend's game through injury, and Ferguson could hand Anderson the challenge of proving himself in the season's first Big Four clash.