Manchester United Transfer Rumors: Red Devils Shouldn't Give Up on Anderson

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18:  Anderson of Manchester United beats Danny Guthrie of Reading during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Manchester United and Reading at Old Trafford on February 18, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United may be in the midst of a Premier League title-winning season—let's be honest, the race is over, and the Red Devils are the champions—but the team could see a number of players depart this summer. 

One of the bigger names possibly heading out—and bigger disappointments during his time in Manchester, as well—is midfielder Anderson. And that would be a very big mistake.

From Simon Mullock of the Mirror:

Brazilian midfielder ­Anderson is set for a ­summer departure from Manchester United.

The midfielder, 24, has struggled with form and fitness this season and has once again failed to nail down a regular place in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team.

Mullock adds, "But there is still a belief at Old Trafford that Anderson will never fulfill the ­potential that prompted United to pay Porto £17 million for him ­almost six years ago. A ­return to ­Portugal is likely for Anderson."

Mullock also notes that Nani will likely leave on a transfer this summer in the last year of his deal, Paul Scholes will likely retire, Alexander Buttner and Anders Lindegaard could also be shipped out and Javier Hernandez might be too difficult for the team to retain, as he's clearly earned more starts after his excellent season.

But if all of those players do indeed depart, perhaps none will leave with a greater sensation of unfulfilled potential than Anderson, and that's why Manchester United shouldn't give up on him just yet.

Remember, Anderson is only 24 years old. His contract isn't up until the summer of 2015. United have at least one more season to decide what his future is at the club before deciding to move on.

So why ship him out now? Why not see if he can stay healthy and live up to his obvious potential?

It's not as though United is crawling with elite options in the midfield. Scholes will be gone, Ryan Giggs may be too, Michael Carrick isn't getting any younger and Shinji Kagawa is best served in attacking roles. 

Tom Cleverley has earned his spot, and Nick Powell may very well be the future, but there is still a spot in United's starting lineup if Anderson plays up to his ability. If he responds next season and finally proves he's the guy United always believed he was, the team could have a mainstay in the midfield for the next five or six years.

This isn't the summer to give up on Anderson. The Red Devils would be best served giving him one last year to prove he is worthy of playing at Old Trafford. The potential reward is far greater than any risks associated with keeping him for one more season.

There will be changes for the Red Devils this summer, you can count on that. Anderson just shouldn't be one of them.

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