As reported by The Sun, new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has expressed his desire to sign Ajax star Antony this summer. The Dutchman began office on Monday and has identified the Brazilian winger as one of his first potential signings at Old Trafford.
Manchester United’s downfall in recent times has been caused due to a plethora of mistakes made on and off the pitch. They have struggled continuously throughout the 2021-22 season and are looking for a major squad overhaul before they begin a new chapter.
Having taken over the reins at the Theatre of Dreams, Ten Hag is immediately planning to construct a team that will be able to compete for major honours. Hence, phase one of Ten Hag’s rebuild will be an attempt to find new signings who will bring a breath of fresh air at Old Trafford.
The club is expected to lose Edinson Cavani while other key players like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who has endured a frustrating season, remain uncertain about their future. Therefore, signing a new forward is a priority and United have shortlisted Antony as one of the potential targets.
The Sun stated that Erik ten Hag has marked Ajax forward Antony as one his first summer signings as United manager. The Red Devils are among the leading candidates to sign the 22-year-old. The report also states the Eredivisie club would agree to sell the player if an appropriate offer arrives – in excess of £50million. The Brazilian has also caught the eye of several other European clubs like Liverpool and Bayern Munich.
Antony is one of the most exciting talents in world football currently. He joined Ajax from Sao Paulo FC in the summer of 2020. Since then, he has scored 22 goals and made 20 assists in 79 appearances for the Eredivisie club across all competitions.
The Brazilian was initially signed as a long-term replacement for Hakim Ziyech. However, under Erik ten Hag, he made rapid progress and became an integral part of the Ajax team, transforming into one of the most exciting talents in the Dutch league.
🚨| Reports from the Brazilian media continue to claim that Ajax star Antony could be on his way to Manchester United this summer. 🇧🇷
– Ajax are already looking for replacements for the Brazilian & #MUFC are already in talks with Antony’s representatives. 🗣
— Blaize Benzo (@BlaizeBenzo_) May 24, 2022
The 22-year-old winger has had a stand-out 21/22 season with the Eredivisie team. He has already bettered his stats from last season, scoring 12 goals and providing 10 assists in 33 appearances (stats via Transfermarkt) across all competitions.
This form earned him a senior team call-up for Brazil, where he has made equally impressive progress. He came on as a substitute during the World Cup qualifier against Venezuela and scored on his debut. He has established himself in the national team and is expected to be a definite starter during the Qatar World Cup.
Erik ten Hag considers Antony as a ready-made fit for his Manchester United team. The player completely knows and understands the style of football implemented by the Dutch manager. One person who believes the same is former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson. While speaking to Dylan Childs of Football Insider, Robinson said:
“Antony is a top player. He has been a big part of what Ajax have achieved in the last 18 months. I have watched him closely covering the Eredivisie for a broadcaster.”
“If Ten Hag is to have a huge overhaul at Old Trafford Antony is the sort of player the fans would love. I think Antony would be a great addition.”
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The 22-year-old is said to be a fast, direct, and tenacious dribbler with an excellent left foot. His efficiency in contributing with goals and assists will certainly add depth upfront at Manchester United. Antony has been an integral part of Ten Hag’s team at Ajax and which is why United are targetting the right-winger.
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