Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes midfielder Anderson can fill the gap left by Paul Scholes' retirement should he be unable to sign £35million target Wesley Sneijder.
The Premier League champions continue to be linked with Inter Milan midfielder Sneijder, although Ferguson has rejected reports that he issued the 27-year-old with an ultimatum over a possible move to Old Trafford (see below).
But although speculation continues that the Netherlands international is closing in on a move to Manchester, Ferguson has praised Anderson and believes the Brazilian could be the answer to the club's "Scholes problem."
"The boy Anderson is a fantastic talent and we expect him to be a key player this season," said the Scot.
"He has a good football knowledge. He understands the game very well and is always talking to me about tactics and the technical side of the game.
"He has made a tremendous improvement and he is going to get a lot better. He scored five goals for us last season and if he gets eight or nine this season it would be a huge asset.
"We’re going to miss Scholes but, with Anderson in the mix and if we get [Darren] Fletcher back to his best, it will be a massive boost for us.
"Darren has had a tough few months but he is back in full-scale training after his virus and he is an ideal player for this Manchester United team in terms of his energy and ability to close games down."
United have also been linked with Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri and Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric, who are also targets for Man City and Chelsea respectively.