Man United legend runs the rule on Red Devils flop Anderson
Gary Neville says Anderson was a 'big-game player'
Gary Neville has hailed Anderson as a big-game player, but has admitted the Brazilian lacked the fitness to thrive at the top-level.
The 26-year-old midfielder sealed a return to his native Brazil on transfer deadline after the South American joined Internacional on transfer deadline day on Monday.
He has the talent but lacked in other areas and was unfortunate with injuries
However, United legend Neville reflected on his former team-mate’s Red Devils career, highlighting that Anderson may have had talent but was left lacking in other key areas.
Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ on deadline day, Neville said: “He has had some really good performances, but not consistently and I wonder whether that has been because of fitness as he’s picked up a lot of injuries. He’ll look back at his Manchester United career with some level of disappointment.
“I’ve played with him, he’s got an enormous amount of talent and there have been some really big games at Anfield where he has shown he is capable of playing in the big matches. He is a big-game player, has a big-game mentality, lots of skill but never was fit enough to be able to do it consistently, week in and out in the Premier League and that’s a real shame.
“That’s when you have those players who look back at the end of their careers and wonder: ‘Could I have been that little bit more driven?’ He has the talent but lacked in other areas and was unfortunate with injuries.”
The former Gremio midfielder joined United from Porto in a reported £20m deal alongside Portugal international Nani in 2006.
Anderson won four Premier League titles, the Champions League and two League Cups during an eight-year stay at the 20-time English champions.
The Brazilian endured an injury-hit United career after he ruptured his cruciate ligament in 2010 before the midfielder suffered another serious knee injury in 2011.