Antony delivers another blow for Man Utd

Karan Tejwani
Karan Tejwani 15 Aug 2022 08:14 BST 4 min read
Antony, Ajax, 2022/23

Antony had a starring role in Ajax’s opening Eredivisie home game against Groningen on Sunday afternoon, scoring once, assisting another, and dazzling all round in a wonderful display.

The Brazilian winger, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United all summer, put all transfer murmurs to the side for this brilliant performance as Ajax won 6-1.

Pairing up well with new signing Steven Bergwijn, who was playing on the other wing, he contributed to one of the former Tottenham man’s goals and scored a great goal from outside the box himself.

The game was an indication of what Manchester United were missing and showed exactly why Erik ten Hag was so eager to take the number 11 to Old Trafford with him.

Antony shows Man Utd what they're missing

Antony started off with some excellent skills, once beating three defenders in a single move, only to see his shot saved, in what would’ve been a great goal to put Ajax ahead with the scores level at 1-1.

Moments later, he had another shot, cutting in from the right side, but his strike went slightly over the bar, as it put Groningen on alert.

He tried the same thing just minutes later, and this time, it swept into the top corner for his first league goal of the season, with this Arjen Robben-esque strike starting to become a trademark for the diminutive winger.

Antony added to that with an assist towards the end of the half – his cross from the left side this time perfectly fell to Bergwijn, who calmly headed in.

The end to last season was quite difficult for Antony – he suffered with injury issues and output dropped, but he’s started this campaign well and yesterday was arguably his best half in an Ajax shirt.

The trajectory he’s on, Antony is on course to have his best season for the Amsterdam club, with last season allowing him to settle in more and show his qualities on a bigger stage.

After the match, he added more to Manchester United’s misery this weekend, admitting his desire to continue fighting for Ajax over the course of the season.

“Will Ten Hag call me? No idea. He has to discuss this with my agents, I’m focused on here. What will come will come, we’ll see,” he said to Dutch broadcaster NOS.

The 22-year-old added to it, saying he was comfortable in Amsterdam: “I feel good at Ajax. I give everything for this club, every minute. So I am loving this city and this club.”

Just a day earlier, he would’ve come across Manchester United’s own disaster – in their 4-0 defeat at Brentford, their attack was tame, showing no real threat or desire.

It’s uncertain Antony would’ve done much to change that had he move to England over the summer, but perhaps there would be more encouragement for directness and danger down the right side.

Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have, so far, struggled this season, and perhaps Antony would’ve given the team a bigger spark down the wing and inspired a change.

For now, though, it looks as though Antony will continue at the Johan Cruyff Arena and show his talents in Amsterdam, as he warms up for a strong season as well as the World Cup with Brazil.

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