There was grave concern among fans a few weeks ago when Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed Shinji Kagawa would be out for another four weeks as he struggled to recover from his injury suffered against Braga back in October.
The nippy midfielder had adapted well to his new surroundings at Old Trafford and, although not the finished article, was well on the way to becoming a key figure to our title chase this season.
When it was revealed the midfielder would be out of action for another month, three weeks after the initial knee injury, many United fans have voiced their concern on who would fill the gap left by the Japanese maestro.
Well, rather than make a straight swap for the Kagawa ‘attacking midfield’ role, Ferguson smartly changed his squad set-up to accommodate different players. The boss has utilised Anderson’s driving style of play, bombing forward from the centre, to fill the vacated gap. Anderson, who struggled to get game time with Kagawa and Tom Cleverley’s arrival on the scene, is now one of the first names on the team sheet.
On Wednesday night against West Ham, it was clear that commitment had paid off with Sir Alex offering Anderson a less restrained role on the Old Trafford turf than usually allowed. He may have started on the left but often cut inside against West Ham, replicating his role against QPR that created a sweet goal for Hernandez at the weekend.
Anderson looked comfortable on the ball and happy to recycle duties in midfield – going forward, sitting back and linking well with Michael Carrick. If Anderson can keep these performances up then Manchester United’s midfield should not miss Kagawa much this winter, with the midfielder poised to play a key role in Sir Alex’s efforts to reclaim the Premier League title.
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