Brazil legend Tostao believes Manchester United midfielder Anderson could have been as good as Neymar had he applied himself properly.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, the 1970 World Cup winner also said that Anderson, who signed for United for £25m in 2007, only had himself to blame for not reaching his potential.
Anderson arrived at Old Trafford as an attack minded midfielder but was often used by Sir Alex Ferguson in a more defensive role, something many feel contributed to him not fulfilling his potential, along with his countless injuries and questionable worke thic.
The 2008 Golden Boy winner, an award given by sports journalists to the most impressive young player from Europe under the age of 21 each season, has endlessly struggled to establish himself due to a number of fitness issues during his seven years in Manchester but Tostao believes he could have been special.
“When Brazilians move to the Premier League, I think they become more disciplined, get to know the importance of the collective game and gain the tactical part,” said Tostao.
“The point is to learn all this without losing technique. If they cannot do this, it’s their fault. Anderson is a classic case. If you remember him as a young player, he was pretty much like Neymar, but after playing there he became predictable.
“But he’s the only one to blame for this. It’s not down to the Premier League.”
Tostao compared Anderson’s development (or lack of) to Cristiano Ronaldo’s success in adapting his game across the countries and leagues he has played in.
He added: “Ronaldo is not Brazilian but can be seen as a player who grew up tactically and developed his technique in England.
“Anderson was skilful but didn’t have great technique, the ability to apply his skills in a big game.
“Neymar is different. He dribbles, does millions of enjoyable things but then carries the expectations of a nation and a team like the big names of the past.”
Anderson returned to Manchester this summer after an unsuccessful loan spell at Fiorentina and could well be on his way out of United after being left out of the squad for the club’s pre-season tour of the US through injury.