West Ham United have knocked out their previous transfer record by signing Felipe Anderson from SSC Lazio for around £40m. He becomes Manuel Pellegrini’s sixth signing behind Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena and Andriy Yarmolenko. After signing on the dotted line, Anderson said, “I want to thank the owner, David Sullivan because he made a big effort to bring me here. I know how difficult it was, so I have to thank him a lot, and I hope I can repay his faith in me on the pitch with goals and winning games.”
Most Hammers fans are wide-eyed right now, pondering over the impact their own actions had on the club’s ownership. The open protest at London Stadium during the 0-3 home loss against Burnley last season has opened the eyes of David Sullivan and rest of the West Ham ownership.
Now, the club is on an ambitious path of establishing themselves as a resolute figure in the English top-flight. They have already signed a Premier League winning manager to one of the biggest contracts – £10m-a-year.
Pellegrini has to implement his best strategy into place and the Chilean seems to have been provided with a big enough transfer kitty to do so. Anderson is one of the most lethal wingers to come out of the Serie A and could wreak havoc in the Premier League if he gets the freedom to express himself.
He has been instrumental for Lazio ever since his arrival to the Stadio Olimpico in June 2013. The Santos academy graduate played in 68 senior-team games and scored 7 goals before signing with the White and Sky Blues.
He has been blessed with heaps of skill and attacking talent under those quick boots of his. The 25-year-old managed to nab 8 goals and 10 assists in 32 appearances across all competitions last season and helped the Eagles to the 5th spot of the Italian top-flight. The Brazilian has racked up over 170 appearances for Lazio.
Consistency is a big issue for Anderson but hopefully, Pellegrini will be able to unleash the Brazilian’s best self at East London. The one-cap Brazil international featured 17 times for his country’s youth sides.
If he hits the ground running at the London Stadium, his chance of a senior team call-up is due to improve. Anderson is best suited to the flanks and has the creative edge to be impactful from central locations as well.
West Ham desperately need more wingers in the team with just Michail Antonio in their ranks. Pellegrini will need the pace from the wide areas to exercise his offensive style of play and Anderson is one the best figures to heap responsibilities on.