West Ham get their man, but where does Anderson fit into the squad?

West Ham and their new manager Manuel Pellegrini have got their man in Lazio attacking midfielder Felipe Anderson. Anderson boasts some extremely potent speed and some slick dribbling skills that seem to get him into the oppositions area in dangerous areas. For a team that lost their main midfield attacker in Manuel Lanzini, Anderson offers some reprieve for what could have been a dampened season.

West Ham have smashed their transfer record for Anderson who is believed to have cost around £40 million. The transfer record was previously at £22 million from another Pellegrini transfer acquisition in Issa Diop brought in this window; it is fairly clear that Pellegrini is not wasting his time at West Ham United.

So, where does the pacy attacker fit into West Ham’s team? Well that depends on the formation. Pellegrini is known for two formations: 4-2-2-2 or 4-1-3-2; in either formation we would see Anderson in a wide attacking midfield position. He did feature on the right side for Lazio, even as a wingback opposite West Ham target Jordan Lukaku. With West Ham’s new recruits on defense Anderson won’t have to worry about tracking back too far.

Possible formations

Fredericks – Diop – Ogbonna – Masuaku
Rice – Wilshere
Yarmolenko             –               Anderson
Chicharito – Arnautovic

Fredericks – Diop – Ogbonna – Masuaku
Yarmolenko – Wilshere – Anderson
Chicharito – Arnautovic

In both of these proposed lineups we see a dedication to having two strikers; for Anderson this should be exciting. Not required to dribble into the box every attack to create offense, Anderson can pick and choose when he cuts inside and will constantly have options to cross to.

Also, in both of these formations I would line up Anderson on the left side, which he can play, behind Arnautovic. Arnie has the ability to pick up the ball and bring it forward, and could overlap with Anderson in attack. Yarmolenko, while a strong dribbler, looks more dangerous from range which would make him a solid winger/attacker behind Chicharito.

An underrated aspect of the Anderson signing is his age, at just 24 years old Anderson is just entering his prime. Anderson also signed a four year contract, “locking him in” at West Ham for the foreseeable future. For the Hammers they are getting a dynamic playmaker with elite speed and quality finishing. He has been playing top flight football in Italy’s Serie A for five season, bringing European experience with him to East London.

This is a true signing of intent for Pellegrini, the board, and West Ham in general. The Hammers are looking to put a few abyssal season behind them with a completely revamped squad. The new team is built upon speed and skill and should be able to put on a show for the West Ham faithful.

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