By Frankie Levin – @FrankWHUFC
Felipe Anderson overtook Marko Arnautovic to become West Ham’s leading goalscorer this season and the Brazilian is flourishing under Manuel Pellegrini.
Arriving in the summer for £42 million and smashing the Hammers’ record transfer fee, Anderson came with expectations that he would hit the ground running, but did far from that.
The midfielder showed glimpses of what he could produce, but a lack of consistency in his performances was enough for many fans to wipe their hands with the Brazilian and label him a ‘flop’.
However, recent performances have proved, not just to West Ham fans, that he is a wonderful player, displaying all the attributes of someone who is ready to help the Hammers push towards the top end of the table.
It took Anderson seven games to get his first Premier League goal, but what a fabulous piece of skill it was. His deft near-post flick against Manchester United instantly showed what every West Ham fan was waiting for, and it proved that he could perform and was finally adjusting to life in the Premier League.
The Brazilian’s recent run of five goals in six league games started at home to Burnley where he demonstrated exactly what he was about, picking up two goals and a MOTM performance in a 4-2 victory.
If this wasn’t enough to get the Hammers fans excited, then his goal a week later at Huddersfield would certainly capture the eye. A wonderful left-footed finish rescued a point for Pellegrini’s side and it was another top-class performance.
Arriving back from the international break, Felipe put in his best performance of the season as the Hammers ran out 3-0 winners against Newcastle. St James’ Park is a tough place for any side to go, and Anderson scored the third to top off an excellent afternoon, again claiming the MOTM award.
Three days later and West Ham found themselves with back-to-back wins after a 3-1 victory over Cardiff. Again, Felipe was pivotal to gaining three points, putting on a top-class show for the fans to see.
His most recent performance against Crystal Palace was just as impressive. His third game in a week and he showed no signs of fatigue, bagging his sixth goal of the season to become top goalscorer for the Hammers in a 3-2 victory, capping off the perfect week.
Anderson needed time to adjust to the Premier League. Not just him, but the whole club completely transformed over the summer.
A new manager, a new philosophy and a new beginning, and finally we are reaping the rewards and our patience is finally being paid back.
Many fans, including myself, had doubts about the Brazilian, but he is now demonstrating his worth and has really taken to this league and much credit must go to him.
Another who deserves credit is Pellegrini. He has continued to play his attacking football, constantly backing Anderson in the process.
With some vital coming up, we have an excellent opportunity to push up into the top half of the table, and Anderson will play a huge part if we are going to do so.