Man Utd told they've signed the next Nicolas Pepe

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • 20 Jan 2023 12:46 GMT
  • 2 min read
Antony skills

Manchester United have been warned that they may have signed the next Nicolas Pepe in Antony after the Brazilian was criticised for his performance in their draw with Crystal Palace.

Antony failed to make an impact before being substituted with just over 20 minutes to go as United conceded a last-minute equaliser to damage their potential title push.

Although Antony scored in back-to-back cup games against Everton and Charlton in recent weeks, the 22-year-old has not had a goal contribution in the Premier League since October, when he scored in his first three appearances for the club.

SON OF A B*TCH!: Antony's latest Man Utd setback

With United set to face league leaders Arsenal this week, Antony was compared to Gunners £78 million flop Nicolas Pepe by former Premier League striker Gabriel Agbonlahor.

“Antony for me, watching him last night he wasn’t happy when he got dragged [off],” Agbonlahor told talkSPORT. “He doesn’t do enough for me, he’s giving me like Pepe who used to be at Arsenal vibes. Tricks, doesn’t really beat a player and they need, for me, Garnacho to start against Arsenal

“They need Jadon Sancho to get back amongst it, they need more options on the wing because Antony is not at it at the moment. Maybe he will with time, but at the moment he’s not doing enough.”

Is Antony considered a flop at Old Trafford?

Expectations of Antony were uncertain when he arrived at United for €100m in August last year, with an acceptance that the club had overpaid in order to convince Ajax to sell their star man late in the transfer window.

Excitement grew when the forward netted on his debut in the 3-1 win over Arsenal, before continuing his bright start by scoring in his next two league games against Manchester City and Everton.

However, doubts have started to set in with the player slowly declining in output and failing to contribute to United’s attack despite their rise up the table.

With Marcus Rashford in fine form and youngster Alejandro Garnacho providing some impressive cameos off the bench, Antony has found his gametime reduced in recent weeks and could further struggle due to the arrival of Wout Weghorst and the impending return of Jadon Sancho.

NEW DEAL: Alejandro Garnacho agrees to new Man Utd contract

Antony will ultimately be allowed to take his time to develop, having been a massive outlay and coming from a ‘lesser’ league, particularly with Erik ten Hag having seen what he can bring to a team after managing him at Ajax, although the player will need to improve his performances in the league in order to brush off the critics and prove his worth to sceptical fans.