MANCHESTER UNITED have killed two birds with one stone with the signing of Antony.
Manchester United have officially announced that an agreement has been reached with Ajax for the signing of right-winger Antony.
The reported fee for the transfer is a whopping figure of
£85million, including add-ons, making him the club’s second most expensive signing in history.
The Brazilian international arrived in Manchester yesterday, along with his agent and his family, to complete his medical at the Carrington training ground – and have his visa application completed.
This would potentially make him available for his Premier League debut against Leicester City on Thursday.
For sure, it would have been ideal had the 22-year-old completed a move to the Red Devils at the beginning of the transfer window, allowing him to settle into the club.
And with the squad going into the 2022/23 campaign, it would’ve helped Erik Ten Hag bring advanced tactical ideas to the team during the pre-season fixtures.
However, it is better to sign him late than never to address a position that is truly lacking quality and depth, assisting the team to push forward with reaching their objectives.
Though, the player’s commitment to reunite with his former manager cannot be taken for granted.
He missed a couple of days training with Ajax over the last week, in a bid to force the Dutch club into accepting his desires, as they have previously prevented him from leaving by attempting to
overprice the player at a huge valuation.
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Antony’s presence at Old Trafford would solve a couple of immediate issues for Ten Hag and Manchester United.
He’ll be filling in an empty void in the right-wing position, a department that has not been effectively and ruthlessly strengthened since the days of Nani, who left the club at the end of the 2015/16 season.
The side went on to sign the likes of Juan Mata, Henrikh
Mkhitaryan and Daniel James, but none of them were able to hold onto the position consistently.
Not only that, but Jadon Sancho would be allowed to play in his natural position on the left flank.
This is where he is able to view the pitch at a high level of intelligence and understanding, going on to possibly form good chemistry and balance with left-back Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen on the
left side of the team.
His style of play relies on an overlapping full-back and players who can provide good movement and combination play with him through the middle of the pitch.
And with the current players within the United squad, he would be more dangerous down the left than the right.
On the other hand, Antony is a left-footed right-winger, who has the capability of running directly at the opposition’s defence from the touchline area.
Or he wants to cut into the central area and likes to attempt to shoot the ball into the top left corner.
His silky footwork and bags of trickery makes him a
difficult player to defend against, as he is unpredictable and composed within tight spaces.
When compared to the rest of the attacking midfielders and wingers in the top five leagues of Europe over the last 365 days, Antony is in the top 99 percent for assists, shot-creating actions and
for touches in the attacking third.
He achieved two goals and four assists in seven Champions League
appearances for Ajax during the 2021/22 campaign.
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A statistic that should bring confidence to the Old Trafford faithful that he has also shown his individual quality in the European competition.
Overall, the Red Devils have a good balance out on the wings in Antony and Sancho, which should help the team confidently in controlling possession of the ball high up the pitch and
force the opposition into making errors in their own half.
Although Ten Hag is still in need of a few players to get the ball rolling with his style of play at Old Trafford, he has been presented with the ideal signings and new faces that should hopefully allow him to effectively lay out the foundations.