Manchester United Transfer News: Felipe Anderson Warning, Sam Johnstone Loan

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2015

Lazio's Felipe Anderson celebrates by kissing his jersey after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Torino in Rome's Olympic stadium, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press

Former football scout and director Tor-Kristian Karlsen believes Manchester United would be taking a huge risk by signing Lazio's Felipe Anderson during the January transfer window.

The Sun (h/t the Daily Star's Jonathan Green) linked the Red Devils with a £35 million move for the winger, and while Karlsen is a big fan of his skill set, he believes the Brazilian would struggle to adapt to the Premier League.

He also noted the player hasn't been at his best of late:

Anderson enjoyed a breakout season for the Serie A side last season, scoring 10 goals and adding seven assists in the league, per He made a huge impression with blistering pace and a bag of trickery and was perhaps the top counter-attacking threat in Italian football.

But Lazio have struggled in 2015-16, and so has Anderson, who seems to have reverted to some of the poor habits that plagued him during his first season in the Italian capital in 2013-14. Consistency has always been an issue, and he has a tendency to ignore his defensive responsibilities.

The 22-year-old remains an intriguing talent, however. He may just be one of the fastest players in football, and his finishing ability is top-notch, as you can see below:

United would love to add a proven scorer during the January transfer window, and with Memphis Depay struggling in his first season at Old Trafford, there is room for an upgrade out on the wing.

But Anderson is anything but a safe bet, and like Memphis, he could struggle immensely if he were to make the move. The two are actually quite comparable in terms of talent and potential, and Anderson's game is built around confidence more than anything.

Lazio could be tempted to sell given their lack of defensive options. The Biancocelesti need to invest in a top centre-back during the January transfer window, and the funds of an Anderson sale would do just nicely, even if he was their top player last season.

United are desperate for attacking help, but there's no guarantee Anderson would be able to provide it immediately. The purpose of the January transfer window is to improve a team in a clear area of need, and the Red Devils would be better off looking at safer options.


Sam Johnstone Rejoins Preston North End on Loan

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 17:  Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone of Manchester United during the International Champions Cup 2015 match between Club America and Manchester United  at CenturyLink Field on July 17, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Matthew Ashton - A
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

In a move that shouldn't come as a major surprise, young goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has moved back to Preston North End on loan in search of more playing time. The news was revealed by Preston's official website (h/t Adam Bostock of United's official website), who shared this quote from the 22-year-old:

I'm delighted to be back and hopefully I can start playing some games. It's great to be around the team at Manchester United, they are the biggest club in the world but, at the end of the day, I'm 22 years old and I have to think about myself a little bit and I need to be playing first-team football. I get to do that now in the Championship which is a great league to play in.

Johnstone has found it hard to make his mark at Old Trafford after flashing plenty of potential in the club's academy, and he was stuck behind David De Gea and Sergio Romero in the pecking order.

He sat on the bench for United's first match of the season against Tottenham Hotspur, but once the transfer saga surrounding De Gea was resolved, it became clear Johnstone wouldn't see much playing time for the club in 2015-16.

Johnstone remains an intriguing talent who could still develop as the Red Devils' main backup or even a long-term option should De Gea leave the club in the future, and his progression in the past couple of years has been solid, as you can see in this video:

The Red Devils could easily afford to let the youngster go on loan, as De Gea and Romero form one of the top one-two punches at the position in the Premier League. More playing time can never be a bad thing for a talented youngster such as Johnstone, who will be eager to continue his development and work to pass Romero in the pecking order by next season.