This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Darren Bent has suggested that Manuel Pellegrini should play Felipe Anderson out wide, as reported by Football Insider.
What did he say?
The Brazilian was played in a central role as West Ham United went on to beat Chelsea 1-0, ending a run of eight games without a win in all competitions.
During his 71 minutes on the pitch, the 26-year-old made four tackles, two interceptions, while he didn’t manage any key passes or shots.
Despite eventually winning the game, Bent suggested that Pellegrini needs to get Anderson back out wide, while speaking to Football Insider: “I like him playing on the wing. He can use his pace and skills to isolate a full-back when on the wing, whereas it’s more congested in the middle of the pitch so it’s hard to make an impact.
“Yet he did show glimpses against Chelsea, so you have to hope he can build on that.
“Anderson must be someone who frustrates fans more than most as they must be watching him thinking ‘we know what you’re capable of’ but he just hasn’t hit the same heights yet this season.”
Keep him out wide
It can be argued that Anderson’s creativity was nullified by playing in a more central role, as he was not as effective in this area, falling below his season average of 1.3 shots, 1.2 key passes and 2.2 dribbles per game.
Even though the Brazilian is still yet to score a goal this season, he has got three assists and this indicates that the wide areas give him more freedom to utilise his dribbling ability in a way that gets him in positions to make an impact in the final third.
The decision to move him back onto the left-wing would also arguably benefit his teammates, especially Pablo Fornals.
What should Pellegrini do with Anderson?
Play him centrally
Put him out wide
Aside from Nathan Holland, Anderson is the only natural left-winger at the club, so the Spaniard was forced to play out wide when he is more comfortable in a central role.
It could be worth Pellegrini switching Anderson and Fornals around for Wednesday night’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
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