Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed his delight at securing Anderson’s future at United for the next four-and-a-half years.
The 22-year-old, who joined from Porto in 2007, has made 110 appearances for the Reds despite suffering a serious knee ligament injury last season.
Since making his comeback in September, the Brazilian midfielder has been in sparkling form and even grabbed a rare goal against Valencia in the Champions League to secure top spot for United in Group C. And Sir Alex believes that his young startlet is now reaping the rewards of his perseverance in getting himself back to full fitness.
“We’re delighted Anderson has signed a new deal,” said the Scot.
“He’s a fantastic personality and the boy has terrific potential. He had that bad injury earlier in the year and whenever a player has a serious injury you have to give them time to get back. The player also has to work hard and he’s done that and it’s got him to the level we’re seeing now where he’s in the team and doing well.
“Cruciates can vary but nowadays you can get players back within six months. That’s a fair recovery time. He’s showing the benefit of really working hard to get to this position. Hopefully it’s all systems go for the boy now.”
Anderson's ability to drive forward in support of the strikers has made a real difference to United's play in recent weeks and Sir Alex believes he has the potential to go on and establish himself as an outstanding midfielder in the years to come.
“He could be a top, top player. He’s different from the other midfielders we’ve got and it’s good to have a different type of player,” he said.
“It’s good to have a certain type of balance from midfielders who can offer you different things. He’s strong, he can beat a man. He has great acceleration from a standing position. He’s electric in that sense.
“The area he has to improve is goalscoring," added the boss. "He recognises that. That’s his weakness, he doesn’t score enough goals. He’s still only 22 – he’s an emerging player and hopefully in three or four years time we’ll be looking back and saying he’s given us goals because he has the ability to