Manchester United appear to have finally got their season back on track, and may be about to receive a welcome boost with the signing of Antony from Ajax.
Original article published 30 August 2022
We take a closer look at what the winger could bring to Old Trafford following the move.
Antony is a tricky winger, capable of beating a man on the inside and outside with pace and skill, and has an eye for goal. He'll bring a dash of Brazilian flair to Old Trafford, and may be the missing piece United have spent so long looking for.
While Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford often competed for a space on United’s left wing, the Red Devils required a more natural right-sided player. Jadon Sancho was hoped to be that player, though his best spells have come on the left, only adding to United’s problems.
In short, yes. He’s a very talented dribbler who wants to get the ball forward and attack the area, and could well be the perfect fit for Erik ten Hag, though he is very reliant on his left foot.
Cynics may point out his eight goals and four assists last season for a team that scored 98 goals and hugely dominated possession, though he did miss the last two months of the season with injury, and his goals and assists per 90 last season came to a more respectable 0.63, and his G+A/90 in his first season was an even better 0.87.
Antony is very much a modern right winger, occupying wide spaces but looking to cut inside onto his preferred left foot, while occasionally taking his man on down the line with his turn of pace. Though should Ten Hag want to play Antony more centrally or on the left, he’ll be able to do so.
The reported figure to acquire Antony’s services seems to have spiralled throughout the summer transfer window, from around £50m at the start of July, to around £80m plus add-ons in August, to around the £100m mark now, and while the Brazilian is no doubt talented, it’s around double what Barcelona paid for Raphinha’s services, with the former Leeds man being preferred in the Brazil starting XI.
Antony is 22, and turns 23 next February.
Antony is now a Manchester United player, having played for Ajax, having moved from Sao Paolo, and has represented the Brazil team nine times.