Opinion: Why keeping 1 goal flop could be in West Ham’s interest

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Felipe Anderson arrived at the London Stadium as West Ham’s new record transfer in 2018. Just two seasons on, the Brazilian international is already being labelled a flop and reportedly could be surplus to requirements. It has been suggested that David Moyes would like to recoup some of his £40m transfer fee to spend on incoming signs in East London this summer, but the Scottish manager ought to consider altering his stance on the 27-year-old.

Just a year ago, Anderson’s stock at the London Stadium was reasonably high. The former Lazio winger made a promising start to Premier League life, scoring nine top-flight goals, just one short of his best while in the Italian capital. Additionally, the Brazilian international provided four assists, and his move initially appeared encouraging.

Conversely, this season has been a disaster. As West Ham loomed around the bottom of the Premier League table, Anderson’s influence was negligible, scoring just once this term, the lowest tally he has provided in a league season while in Europe.

The Brazilian only started once after the restart, the first match, which was a defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers and appeared for 19 minutes in the following fixture against Spurs before sustaining his hamstring injury in the warm-up against Chelsea. Furthermore, Moyes seemed to have lost faith in the 27-year-old, as even when he returned from injury Anderson featured for just three minutes on the final day.

However, just giving up on the second most expensive signing in West Ham’s history could prove to be a costly mistake. Anderson’s current value is estimated to be £28.8m (Transfermarkt), and the Irons set to make a loss on the Brazilian if he was sold at that price. Also, on the back of a disappointing season, the Hammers’ hierarchy would likely have little negotiating power.

Given the 27-year-old should be at the peak of his powers, in theory, and displayed tremendous attacking capabilities initially after joining the Hammers, Moyes ought to consider persevering with Anderson. The mercurial winger proved to be a match-winner in the 2018/19 campaign, and his goals were decisive in securing victories over Burnley, Crystal Palace and Southampton.

Moyes has already coaxed some of the best form of Michail Antonio’s career out of the 30-year-old, as he fired in eight goals after the Premier League’s hiatus, he now must attempt to do the same with Anderson. If he can replicate Antonio’s achievement with the Brazilian winger, West Ham would be better off keeping hold of Anderson than making a loss.

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