Since arriving from Lazio in a club-record £36m deal back in the summer (per BBC), Felipe Anderson has made the London Stadium faithful forget all about Dimitri Payet, and has seamlessly slotted in to fill the lack of a creative source since the Frenchman’s departure.
The Brazilian attacker started the season quite slowly, as did the Hammers in losing their first four games, but he managed to adapt extremely quickly to show just why he merited such a huge fee.
Having failed to get involved much in his first two games against Liverpool and Bournemouth, Anderson picked up an assist in each of his next two games against Arsenal and AFC Wimbledon. Then there was that incredible showing at home against Manchester United, in which he scored a stunning back-heeled effort past David de Gea, but there was still more to come.
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The 25-year-old embarked on somewhat of a hot streak from the start of November, until the end of 2018. A two-goal haul against Burnley in a 4-2 win, which earned him the Man of the Match award by Whoscored with a 9.49 rating, oozed class, whilst five goals and an assist in his next eight games showed that he had completely settled in east London.
Having commanded such a huge fee, the pressure was on Anderson to perform immediately and in somewhat difficult circumstances. A new man was in charge in Manuel Pellegrini, the fans were still somewhat annoyed by the events of last season, not helped by the poor start, so all eyes were on the Olympic gold medal winner to lift spirits.
With the likes of Samir Nasri, Robert Snodgrass and Marko Arnautovic, Anderson has the players to help him perform to his best, shown by his eight goals and two assists in 23 Premier League starts in the current campaign.
Anderson also takes 1.7 shots per game, attempts 1.9 dribbles per game and makes 1.8 key passes per game according to Whoscored, which shows that he is never afraid to take the game to the opposition and enjoys being relied on as the creative spark in the Hammers’ lineup.