Born Felipe Anderson Pereira Gomes on 15th April 1993 in Santa Maria Federal District in Brazil, Felipe arrived at West Ham United via Lazio for a reported transfer fee of £36m. He followed Issa Diop in breaking the Hammers previous transfer fee records during the summer of 2018.
In his earlier career, Felipe played for a number of youth sides before arriving at Santos in 2007 playing for the youth categories until a rash of injuries promoted him to the senior side. Once he began training with the senior side, Felipe was given a professional contract until July 2013 and scored his first goal of his professional career on 11th February against Noroeste, a long range shot in the 70th minute.
Anderson signed a new contract, running until 2016 and in the following season had more senior appearances due to Ganso’s injuries and Elano’s poor form, playing alongside Neymar and scored his first goal of the season against Botagof-SP on 9th February 2012.
After a failed attempt by Lazio to sign Filepe in January 2013, he finally made the move on 25th June 2013 for €7.8m signing a 5 year deal. Igli Tare, Lazio’s sporting director, complained about the transfer process due to third party owner Doyen Sports, who he said “changed their minds continually. When we had everything decided, they would start from scratch two hours later. It felt like being in the Twilight Zone.”
In Felipe’s second season at Lazio he scored 11 goals with 9 assists across all competitions and signed a contract extension until June 2020. Anderson’s form at Lazio was reportedly raising the interests of both Manchester United United and Chelsea and saw him chalk up 34 goals in 177 appearances across all competitions during his five seasons there. But in 2017-18, his final season at Lazio, a knee injury and a fall out with the manager Simone Inzaghi, restricted Felipe to just 21 league appearances and 4 goals.
A busy summer transfer window saw Pellegrini sign Anderson, Ryan Fredericks, Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Fabián Balbuena in an attempt to improve on 2018’s 13th place finish.
Felipe had high hopes when joining the Hammers saying “West Ham is a club with a lot of tradition, lots of great players have played here, like Bobby Moore, Carlos Tevez and [Paolo] Di Canio. They were great players and idols here, and I’m aiming big, who knows, maybe I could hit their heights and be a legend here too. I’m really happy to be here. It’s a dream come true.”
He praises Sullivan for having faith in him and in securing the transfer saying, “I hope I can repay his faith in me on the pitch with goals and winning games.”
Anderson has admitted that adapting to the Premier League has been tough due to the vast difference in intensity between English and Italian football, revealing he struggled early on in his West Ham career to last the full 90 minutes. "The difference is incredible. It’s a big difference. I felt, in my first 10 games, I couldn’t play more than 70 minutes because of the intensity.” His first season brought 10 goals in all competitions from 40 appearances.
Joe Cole believes that Anderson will be one of the players that will ensure West Ham remain in the Premier League, saying: “The group of players there are really talented, I was speaking to [Mark] Noble at the start of the season and there’s a lot of talent in that team. Your Andersons, your Declan Rices, I think they’ll stay up.”
Some have argued that ‘Anderson blows hot and cold, he isn’t committed to playing and he’s lazy.’ And given the difficulty he has had settling down at the club and recovering some of the form he showed at Lazio, you can understand fan frustration at his lack of performance in matches, especially this season. Settling into a more physical game in the Premier League can prove a hurdle to players and his supporters would argue he arrived light and point to his wonderful back heal past DeGea in a 3-1 victory over Manchester United for his first goal for West Ham. Felipe went on to scoring 9 Premier goals with 3 assists for his first Premier League season.
This season has been difficult for many reasons, but for Felipe it has been said that he fails to fulfil his offensive duties but Pellegrini had held him back into a more defensive role instead of giving him a freer role forward and tracking back when needed.
Felipe Anderson is considered one of West Ham’s flair players but David Moyes is struggling to get the best out of him. Injury has impacted his season and Moyes asked of Anderson to show his quality on the pitch, which he did at the start of the Moyes second tenure as manager at West Ham with a goal in the 4-0 win against Bournemouth. But injury in the 1-1 draw with Sheffield United added to the growing list of players unavailable to Moyes as the Hammers struggled for points and form.
The COVID-19 lockdown set uncertainty about whether the season would finish but with games now underway Filipe found himself subbed for Lanzini in our first game after the Premier League restart. He came on as a 71 min sub for Noble in our defeat against Spurs, Anderson was an unused sub against the victory over Chelsea and did not feature at all in the senior team in the draw against Newcastle and is currently recovering from a hamstring injury and missed the Burnley away game.
During the lockdown, before the Premier League resumed, Filipe sent a message to Hammers fans:
“Hello West Ham fans. I miss you, to see you filling the stadium, but we still have to stay home” he added. “I hope, as soon as I have the opportunity to play, to do my best to you, for you and for our West Ham. A big hug, be with God.”
Halfway through his 4 year deal, what role will Anderson play in the run in to the end of the season and will Moyes be able to get him to contribute positively in a fight for our Premier League survival if he recovers from injury in time?
Is Felipe and player we need for next season?