Manchester United Transfer News: Unloading Anderson Would Be Great Summer Move

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28:  Anderson of Manchester United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 28, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

If Manchester United can find a taker for Anderson this summer, Sir Alex Ferguson should personally drive him to his new destination.

Despite being only 25 years old, it's time to call an end to the midfielder's time at Old Trafford. He's never lived up to his price tag since moving to Porto, and the longer he's at Manchester United, the more and more his value declines.

Mark Ogden of The Telegraph reported that a move back to Porto may be on the cards for Anderson. Even more importantly, as Ogden notes, Anderson's departure to the Portuguese club could pave the way for James Rodriguez to move the other way.

Anderson spent part of two seasons at the Estadio do Dragao. Porto would probably be willing to accept him plus cash in a deal for Rodriguez.

It seems as though Ferguson has had Rodriguez on his radar for quite a while now. Ogden also wrote that it's believed that United made a £25 million bid for the winger last summer, only to have it rejected. Making a similar bid, but throwing in Anderson might just entice Porto enough to agree to a deal.

At only 21 years old, Rodriguez and the 20-year-old Wilfried Zaha could prowl the wings for years at Manchester United. Putting Rodriguez on the left would also allow Shinji Kagawa to play in a more central midfield position more often, which is good because that's where Kagawa is at his best.

Despite the club almost certainly winning the Premier League this season, there are cracks in United's team. It is good enough to win domestically, but it runs into trouble when facing Europe's elite.

Offering Anderson as a makeweight would allow United to acquire Rodriguez for a reasonable fee, allowing the club to address the midfield and possibly back four as well during the transfer window.

Even in the event the Red Devils can't secure Rodriguez for next year, getting rid of Anderson this summer is best for all parties involved. He's shown flashes of potential, but time and again, Anderson has failed to deliver over long stretches.

He's part of the reason United's midfield needs to be addressed. The club needs to add some creativity, while also finding a player who can win the ball. Anderson can do neither of those things.

Fitness has also been an issue. Many point to Wayne Rooney's fitness level, but any perceived weight problems haven't stopped him from being an effective player. The same can't be said for Anderson. In quite a few matches, it hasn't looked like he is physically able to actually play for 90 minutes.

Lucas struggled at Liverpool as he has made the transition from attacking midfielder at Gremio to central, ball-winning midfielder with the Reds. The supporters were quick to disparage Lucas, but he's turned into one of the club's best players.

Anderson hasn't been able to make the same kind of improvement. At his age, he could still turn into a dependable player, but United can't afford to wait for that day to happen. He's not so young that you can give him a couple more years before finally giving up on him. That day has already come. Since he hasn't really shown the necessary improvement, it's fair to say he never will at Manchester United.

If United can get rid of Anderson and bring in Rodriguez, that's killing two birds with one stone. Supporters would likely be happy just to see the Brazilian out the door come this summer.