David Moyes’ decision to sanction a one-season loan deal for Felipe Anderson to join FC Porto appeared to be proven right at the weekend as the West Ham United forward made his debut for the Liga NOS giants.
West Ham had attempted to sell the Brazilian over the course of the summer market but failed to find a potential suitor willing to purchase the £22.5m-rated winger, and ultimately had to settle for a temporary deal without an option to buy at the end of the season.
Anderson was not Porto’s favoured option having strived to sign Gremio attacker Pepe but were not able to find an amicable agreement, and settled for the Irons outcast at the expense of a sizable loan fee and his £100,000-per-week contract.
Anderson had struggled to enter Moyes’ plans before the closure of the international transfer market, with the Scottish coach only awarding the 27-year-old two late cameo’s totalling two minutes in four Premier League games.
Porto boss Sergio Conceicao was also opposed to starting the attacker in his side’s first match post the October international break, only opting to select Anderson among his substitutes away to Liga NOS rivals Sporting CP on Saturday.
Nuno Santos opened the scoring for the hosts at the Jose Alvalade XXI with his second goal of the campaign, before first-half efforts from Mateus Uribe and Jesus Corona flipped the scoreline approaching the break.
Anderson entered the action as the first of Porto’s five permitted substitutes in the 59th-minute replacing Luis Diaz, but was unable to stretch the visitor’s lead with a forlorn cameo before Luciano Vietto snatched a late equaliser with one minute of regular time to play.
The result left Porto level on points with Sporting although having played a game more, and behind title-rivals SL Benfica.
Anderson’s 31-minute cameo at the Jose Alvalade XXI will have failed to leave a glowing impression on Porto boss Conceicao, and helped further justify West Ham’s decision to try and part ways just two years on from his then-club record £36million arrival.
The winger managed to record just 17 touches of the ball against Sporting, with which he completed just six passes, attempted no crosses, registered no shots on goal, completed just one of three dribbles, lost five of his nine duels and turned over possession four times, per SofaScore.
Anderson did come close to helping Porto stretch their advantage over Sporting with one key pass, but his offensive efforts were matched by his defensive labours with two tackles and one interception whilst being dribbled past twice on route to a 6.5/10 match rating.
He will certainly need to take his game to another level during his time in Portugal if Anderson has any hopes of impressing Moyes and earning a second shot at the London Stadium upon his return.