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Ferguson: Anderson almost quit Old Trafford

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted Brazilian midfielder Anderson was talking about quitting Manchester United last season after poor form and injuries put him on the brink of an Old Trafford exit.

Anderson, 22, endured a difficult campaign and was tipped in some quarters to be eased out of the club during the January transfer window. In the end, he stayed where he was, only to suffer a cruciate knee ligament injury during a Premier League win over West Ham in February.

Now on the road to recovery, he was involved in a car crash last month that saw him pulled from the wreckage before the car caught fire, although Ferguson said that the injuries he suffered were not serious and he has now begun to train with the club again. Now the boss hopes that the break has allowed the midfielder to re-assess his future.

''Anderson has an incredible talent,'' said Ferguson. ''He loves training and playing. He wants to play every game and train every day. But that is a problem for me because at 22 he has not got the maturity to understand we operate a squad here.

''When he does understand that, he will be a fantastic player here but last season he was talking about leaving because he was not playing in every game.''

Rather than put his arm around the player's shoulder, Ferguson opted to stand well back from someone who first made his mark with FC Porto in the hope that common sense would eventually prevail.

''Maybe it is a good thing he has been injured for a spell because he can look at the situation,'' said Ferguson. ''In some ways, I don't want to change his mentality because it is wonderful to see someone who wants to play every minute of every day.

''If you have someone with that enthusiasm, you have to be careful you don't check it to the point when you lose it. I didn't talk to him about leaving. I just let him get it out of his system.

''Maybe the injury has quelled the storm in his body because he came back here with the same enthusiasm and has been telling me he is ready to play. Everyone has seen the quality in his game and he will get his opportunity.''

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