We profile Felipe Anderson as West Ham edge closer to signing the winger from Lazio…
Representatives from both clubs met in Rome on Wednesday to agree a fee in the region of £26m – plus 20 per cent of the fee from a future sale.
Anderson is keen to move to the Premier League and personal terms are close to being agreed on a deal worth a reported £80,000 a week.
So if the Brazilian does complete his move to West Ham, what kind of qualities would he offer Manuel Pellegrini’s side?
Name: Felipe Anderson
Anderson began his career at Brazilian side Santos, which has produced Neymar, Robinho and Danilo, becoming a regular in the side in 2012.
Just a year later he was bought by Lazio for €8m (£7m) at the age of 20, with his debut coming against Trabzonspor in Europa League, but after suffering an ankle injury and struggling to adjust to life in Italy, he went on to make just 13 league starts in his first season with the club.
Though Anderson continued to find it challenging to break into the first team, an injury to Antonio Candreva in late November 2014 gave him his opportunity and he took it with both hands producing a series of man-of-the-match displays in a purple patch that saw him score 10 goals in only 13 appearances.
The 25-year-old has gone from strength to strength since the end of the 2014/15, and has proved not just to be a force in front of goal but also a great provider for his side’s strikers, adding to his 34 career goals for Lazio by creating a further 42 for his Lazio team-mates.
Anderson’s excellent form in 2014-15 led to a call-up to the senior Brazil squad and he made his one and only appearance for his country to date in a friendly game against Mexico on June 7, 2015. The following year, Anderson was part of the Brazil squad that won Olympic gold on home soil, coming on as a substitute in the final against Germany.
Seen as an attacking midfielder, Anderson is usually deployed on either flank although he can also play as a support striker.
Lazio have previously claimed the two-footed midfielder is the fastest player in the Italian league, and he uses his speed and technical ability well to cause opposition full-backs difficulty. Anderson completed the highest number of dribbles in Serie A during the 2016-17 season with 117 – a total that was 33 more than the next most prolific ball carrier in the division, Atalanta’s Alejandro Gomez.
Despite being predominantly used as a substitute last season, Anderson was still decisive in the final third, contributing four goals and seven assists from 21 Serie A games.
Such statistics will offer hope at the London Stadium that he could help to compensate for the absence of Manuel Lanzini, who will miss a chunk of the season after rupturing his cruciate anterior ligament while on international duty with Argentina.
While Anderson’s offensive qualities are his biggest asset, he is certainly aware of his defensive duties too as he ranked top in Serie A for tackles won in 2016-17 with 79.
Although he fell out of favour at Lazio last season, Anderson is a hard-working winger, excellent dribbler and capable of making an impact in the final third of the pitch.
What they said
Former Lazio boss Stefano Pioli: “Felipe Anderson? I found a player of great talent and technique. He needed confidence and regular playing time.”