The Brazilian has come under criticism from some fans after his big-money move, but the statistics show he is flying
Felipe Anderson may not have quite hit the heights many West Ham United fans hoped for, but the Brazilian is proving his worth in east London.
After arriving from Lazio for a club record £42million, Anderson was unable to stop the Hammers suffering four straight Premier League defeats.
Although they managed to finally get their first win under Manuel Pellegrini in the Carabao Cup, the Brazil international only appeared later on in the game and has little influence.
As results began to pick up, the continued excellence of Marko Arnautovic and emergence of Andriy Yarmolenko somewhat shrouded the hard work Anderson was putting in for his teammates.
But make no mistake, his importance to Pellegrini’s side is immeasurable.
Already this season, he has recorded 28 dribbles from his eight appearances in the Premier League – the seventh most in the top flight.
Added to that, the 25-year-old has created the seventh most chances for his teammates with 20, which is impressive considering the Hammers are languishing in 15th.
So how does he compare to the enigmatic Dimitri Payet?
When Slaven Bilic replaced Sam Allardyce in 2015, he stressed the need for more vibrancy and creativity in a forward line still dependant on Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll.
The first signing he wanted was Payet, the chaotic France international was capable of sublime moments but would of course leave east London in rather acrimonious circumstances.
While the Marseille maverick enjoyed a more productive start than Anderson, his contributions were so attack-minded he often left holes in the midfield – such was Payet’s resistance to hard work.
In Anderson, West Ham have found a player who possesses the same attacking instincts, but a selfless attitude to the team which is essential to modern-day football.
His brilliant forward player is evident for all to see, but it is his tackling stats which are really impressive. Anderson has made 27 tackles for his team – the seventh highest in the division.
It is certainly too early to definitely say Anderson will surpass or even match Payet’s achievements with West Ham.
However, in the 25-year-old, Pellegrini has a player who has the potential to become a star, albeit it at a higher level than the Hammers. The sort of player Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola would relish working with one day – filled with pace and attacking verve but also willing to press opposition defenders into making mistakes.
After a tough start to their league campaign, it will be intriguing to see how West Ham fare in their next run of games which sees them play Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Burnley.
One thing is for certain, they will need Anderson to continue to hit his exceptionally high standards.