Many debates go on regarding football and maybe the biggest one when talking about Manchester United would be who is the reds best player of all time?
Equally as interesting is trying to come to a conclusion on who is the worst player ever to play for the club.
Since I started following United I have not seen any other manager in charge of the club other than Sir Alex Ferguson who has been at the helm for 25 years, so I thought I would try and come to a conclusion on who I think has been his biggest ever transfer flop during his time in charge at Old Trafford.
Most supporters will already be reeling names off the top of their heads now, names such as Ralph Milne, Liam Miller, David Bellion, Eric Djemba-Djemba, Kleberson, Massimo Taibi, Diego Forlan, Juan Sebastian Veron & Bebe, one name I surprisingly never hear in that list is Uniteds Brazilian midfielder Anderson, surly he tops the list if you look at the bigger picture?
Financially most supporters would probably agree that Juan Sebastian Veron is Sir Alex’s biggest ever transfer flop. The Argentinean arrived at Old Trafford for a fee of £28.1million back in the summer of 2001 which was a British transfer record at that time. It never really happened for Veron at United, so much was expected of him but he struggled to stamp his authority in a midfield that already had United legends Paul Scholes and Roy Keane in that central position.
There is also the theory that back in 2001 when United signed Veron they didn’t actually require his services at that time, although it is believed Sir Alex signed him to try and take them to another level in European football.
The thing about Veron was that every supporter knew he was a special talent who unfortunately joined the club at the wrong time, eleven years after he signed we are now crying out for that exact same type of player.
Most supporters will base Veron being the worst signing because of the transfer fee, but if you are going off the financial aspect of a player’s career with the club why would you not consider Anderson as the worst?
If you try to research the fee United paid Porto for Anderson it proves a difficult task as most websites have contradicting fees, United announced that he joined the club for an ‘undisclosed fee’, the transfer fee Porto announced was €30 million, which was equivalent to around £25.6 million in May 2007, if that information is correct it means that Anderson cost only £2.5million less than Veron and the Brazilian has been a constant disappointment at United.
Veron could pick a pass, tackle, dictate the pace of a game, he had the odd goal in him, Anderson is the complete opposite of all those attributes I just mentioned, what is Anderson actually good at? Putting on weight? Pulling daft faces at goalkeepers when United have set pieces to try and put them off?
Seriously though, what are Anderson’s stand-out attributes? Passing? Tackling? Scoring goals? Creating chances for others? Heading? Crossing? Defending? Attacking? Could any supporter confidently say yes to him being competent at any of them parts of a midfielder’s game I have just mentioned? I can’t.
I would put Anderson at the top of the list as Sir Alex’s worst ever signing in front of Ralph Milne, Liam Miller, David Bellion, Eric Djemba-Djemba, Kleberson, Massimo Taibi, Diego Forlan, and Bebe. My reason being that all the others I mentioned joined the club when we knew relatively little about them, so we did not expect big thing from them, Anderson on the other hand was touted as the ‘new Ronaldinho’ and watching clips of the player in his Porto days it was easy to see why supporters set their expectations for him so high.
United legend Paul Scholes trained with Veron everyday when he was at the club and said the Argentine was one of the best players he ever played with, Sir Alex also defended any criticism of Veron from the media claiming the player was world class, has a player or the manager ever said similar things about Anderson?
Anderson had a fantastic first season with the club, but the seasons that have followed that have been hugely disappointing. Five years on from when the Brazilian first joined the club and you will still hear some supporters keeping the faith and producing comments like ‘this will be Anderson’s year’ or ‘give the lad time.’
Personally I just cant see him ever establishing himself at United and that is why when you look at the Anderson transfer as a whole against that of Veron’s, its a no-brainer that the Brazilian is the worst signing that Sir Alex has ever made.
By Kevin Ashford @KevinAshford7