Antony makes defiant Man Utd pledge amid withering criticism over Arsenal performance
Antony has underlined his desire to “evolve” as he faces criticism following his summer switch to Manchester United.
The Brazilian eventually forced through a move from Ajax, following Erik ten Hag to the Premier League. His fee raised eyebrows though with United eventually paying £86m to sign the forward – making him the second most expensive player in the club’s history behind Paul Pogba.
Antony scored against Arsenal on his debut but has since struggled to consistently make an impact. United have been on the rise, but their summer signing has not been as influential as his price tag would suggest. His goal and assist stats have left a lot to be desired but the player is relishing the challenges ahead.
He said on social media: “Important week for us!! Seeking to evolve to give my best to the team! It has always been a dream to be here and I will give all I have to honour this club cause [sic] we are stronger together!”
Several pundits and former players have aired concerns about Antony, who was bought off in the defeat to Arsenal at the weekend. Rio Ferdinand doesn’t believe the forward goes past defenders regularly enough.
He said on his FIVE YouTube show: “The concerning thing for me with somebody like Antony is that he can’t beat anyone – and for a Brazilian that’s surprising! He just doesn’t beat anyone and I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Was that always the way?'”
Darren Bent has been quizzed on whether the United man is a “YouTube footballer” and confessed that his highlight reel can be deceiving. He said on TalkSport: “A little bit, yeah. You clip all the best bits of a footballer and you look at it on YouTube and go, ‘Wow, I can’t believe we’re signing him!’ But where’s the substance in between, where’s the end product? I know he started off alright at United, couple of good goals, but where’s the end product?”
Antony has started in 10 of United’s 20 league games, but his last goal came back in early November. He had scored in his first three appearances, but has been on something of a goal drought, yet has remained part of Ten Hag’s attack.
Paul Scholes has defended the Brazilian in the wake of mass criticism. He said after the defeat in north London: “I think Antony looked as lively as I have seen him all season so fingers crossed he can create chances and score more goals.”