Former West Ham midfielder Lee Hodges claimed that Felipe Anderson was among the best players in the Premier League when on his game.
The former Hammer seemed to imply that he thought the 26-year-old playmaker was inconsistent and said that the club needed to bring the best out of him week in, week out.
“Felipe Anderson, I mean if he is on his game, he is one of the best players in the Premiership,” said Hodges on LoveSportRadio, as heard in a clip on the broadcaster’s Twitter account.
“But it’s whether you can bring that out of him, week in, week out.”
It’s rather bold of Hodges to claim that Anderson is capable of being among the best players in the Premier League as he has only spent one season in England’s top-flight.
The Brazilian scored nine goals, while assisting four, in his 36 league outings in his debut season in the Premier League in the 2018/19 campaign, and made a staggering 1667 passes across his appearances. (Source: Premier League)
Anderson created 10 big chances, played 85 accurate long balls and had a decent shot accuracy percentage as it was 43%.
The playmaker also pulled his weight defensively as he made 89 tackles, 41 inceptions and had a tackle success rate of 55%, and these figures are particularly high for an attacking player.
So it was an impressive campaign for Anderson based on that, but to be among the league’s best, you surely have to prove yourself in more than one campaign.
However, while Anderson clearly has the talent to justify Hodges’ claim, he just needs to address the issue of being perceived as being inconsistent.
The Brazilian did go through a quiet spell at the start of 2019, so much so that Sky Sports duo Jeff Stelling and Charlie Nicholas questioned his ability in April.
“Just a quick note on Felipe Anderson…what has happened to him in the second half of the season?” questioned Stelling (Sky Sports News, Saturday April 6th, 13:46).
Nicholas quickly fired back: “What does he do? What does he do? You went quiet on him Stelling!”
It’s understandable that the 26-year-old was inconsistent last season as he was adjusting to the demands of the Premier League after joining the Hammers from Lazio, but he should be well and truly settled into life in England now.
So with that in mind, Anderson surely can justify Hodges’ bold claim about where he ranks in the Premier League, he just needs to show he can wow across an entire league campaign in the upcoming season.