Louis van Gaal has called Anderson’s fitness into question having watched him train with his Manchester United team-mates.
The United boss said Anderson has had a lot of injuries this season which has hindered his progress but went a step further by making it clear he wanted Anderson to improve his fitness levels.
“Anderson is now coming back. He was injured but he’s training now with the team,” Van Gaal said.
“I cannot say what had happened last year or the years before that but in four months I have been here he’s had a lot of injuries. So I cannot judge him but when he trains he trains at a good level. He’s not always fit – and that is more his problem now.
“I wouldn’t pick him yet because you have to be fit. Being fit to play is the smallest thing you can demand as a trainer.
“You have to have professional league fitness. You have to be fit. That’s why players have to play in the second team, even players like Falcao, in spite of his name.
“Fitness is the most important thing. First you have to show your fitness. Not for just one day but for several weeks.”
Fitness has always been Anderson’s issue at United. Through a succession of injuries and poor attitude, the Brazilian has never been able to stay fit for a significant period of time without suffering a new injury and that has proved to be the case under Van Gaal.
At this stage, Anderson is closer to leaving United than he is to breaking into Van Gaal’s starting XI and that is unlikely to change.