Who is West Ham target Felipe Anderson?
West Ham have been one of the most talked about clubs in this summer’s off-season.
There’s been a change of manager and a significant one at that. Premier League winner and former Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini has been lured back to England.
Slaven Bilic guided the team to seventh-place in the 2015/16 season. It was their best season in the Premier League era and now it feels like the club are readying themselves for a similar campaign.
2015 also featured an enigmatic game-changer in Dmitri Payet, a position that appears to be the next on Pellegrini’s shopping list.
A move for Lazio’s Felipe Anderson could re-ignite Hammers’ European ambitions with West Ham looking to get business done early.
The club have already sealed deals for promising young French defender Issa Diop and Premier League regular Lukasz Fabianski in goal.
Anderson was part of an exciting Lazio side last season that came within minutes of Champions League qualification.
Previously linked with Manchester United, when fit he’s been a regular starter since his 2013 move from Santos in Brazil.
He missed almost all of the first part of last season with a tear in his abductor but still managed four goals and seven assists in Serie A.
West Ham have found a system that suits star-men Marko Arnautovic and Joao Mario. But with the long-term absence of Manuel Lanzini, another attacking option will be crucial moving forward.
Under David Moyes, West Ham played a 3-5-2 formation. The attacking wing-backs meant Lanzini, when fit and Mario could play more centrally behind Arnautovic or Andy Carroll.
This mirrored Lazio’s style slightly but they preferred to play a diamond in midfield, in a 3-5-1-1.
The versatile Brazilian has played right-wing and centre-forward. However it’s the support striker role that may suit him the most.
He scored four of his seven goals from that position.
Pellegrini may play a similar style in attack but could revert to four in defence.
At City he played a variation on a 4-4-2 but with Fernando and Fernandinho sitting deeper alongside Yaya Toure.
He had Jesus Navas flying down the left-side and often played James Milner for more balance on the other.
However, Anderson could be deployed in the ‘David Silva’ role just behind the striker.
As West Ham gear up for a busy summer, there may be a few more pre-season tours around the London Stadium.
If Anderson is the next player to East London then a European push may be not too far away.