The Sky Sports pundit admitted that the Brazilian has the ability to be world-class but that his performances must be more regular in order for that to happen.
Bent revealed in an interview with Football Insider that he believes that Anderson has “flattered to deceive,” but that he has all the attributes to go on and change that next season.
“That guy has got all the ability; the speed, the power, everything. He just doesn’t do it on a consistent basis. He showed times last season where he was absolutely destroying teams, running past them like they weren’t there. I remember thinking: ‘Wow, what a signing this is’,” Bent said.
“There’s been too many times where he’s flattered to deceive. He’s got all the attributes in the world to go on and do really well.”
The 26-year-old managed to score nine goals and deliver four assists in his 36 Premier League appearances last season and endured a terrible start to the season against Manchester City on Saturday.
For Bent to single out Anderson to tear into over his first season in the Premier League, it seems harsh. Any new signing will need time to adjust to English football and how the top flight works, but in terms of effectiveness, the Brazilian definitely did well. The 26-year-old did average 1.6 shots and 1.8 key passes per game last season, as well as completing 2.1 dribbles according to WhoScored – stats that suggest he deserved a lot more goal involvement throughout the campaign. You have to bring in the factors that Marko Arnautovic was somewhat disruptive behind-the-scenes, and that creative players such as Manuel Lanzini were out for the majority of the season through injury. It is never easy to make an instant impact but when the squad around you is also not the best, it becomes even harder. Now that Manuel Pellegrini has added players such as Pablo Fornals, Anderson is surely only set to thrive with the shared responsibility that will give him more breathing space in the Hammers’ side.