Talented. Mercurial. Two-footed. Pace to burn. 25 years old. Two years left on contract. Can play wide right, prefers a freer creative role. That’s a thumbnail sketch of Santos youth academy product Felipe Anderson, a talented right-winger who’s been in and out Lazio’s lineup and his coach’s doghouse after three solid seasons of being undisputed first-choice.
After spending the first few months of this season on the proverbial disabled list with an abductor tear, he fell out with his manager, Simone Inzaghi in February. Following a one-match suspension and despite words from Inzaghi that all the pertinent lessons have been learned, Felipe Anderson started just 8 of the final 15 games of the season.
Unsurprisingly, rumors about his future have not been far behind. Back in February, Il Messaggero already reported that Chelsea were tenuously interested, and now there are fresh, more concrete claims. Corriere dello Sport claim that Lazio plan to sell the Brazilian and that Chelsea are preparing a bid of €40m. CalcioMercarto claim the same thing.
(Chelsea had also been linked a few times before this year, including Conte’s first two transfer windows in summer of 2016 and January 2017. Felipe Anderson also made the trip up from Italy to attend the grand opening of David Luiz and Willian’s restaurant, for whatever that’s worth.)
New Chelsea boss wants to sign Brazilian winger and club are happy to sellhttps://t.co/3Hgaqqe9ix— ChelseaTweets™ 8⃣ (@alf_10cfc) May 28, 2018
€40m seems like a lot of money for a player who never improved on his promising 2014-15 season, in which he scored 11 goals and added ten assists. Since then he’s hovered a little below those numbers and this season lost his hold on a starting position.
It may be that he’s a bad fit for Lazio. He has pace, can shoot and dribble, has a very good technical ability and probably ought to be producing better numbers than he has. And it’s possible that he might be a good fit in Maurizio Sarri’s fluid, quick-strike system.
It may also be, however, that someone in Italy is shaking the tree to see what falls out. Maybe it’s Anderson’s agent, who wants to get cracking on a new deal before that contract expires in 2020. Maybe it’s Lazio sporting director Igli Tare try to drum-up some interest in the market for a player who hasn’t fulfilled his promise in the Eternal City.
It’s silly season, so there’s no telling what’s really going on, or if Chelsea have the slightest interest in the former Santos man. Until and unless we hear further, this one’s just a curiosity, typical silly-season fodder.