Antony entering pivotal make-or-break season at Manchester United – opinion

Erik ten Hag is staying at Old Trafford and a new contract is in the pipeline. On top of that, a major summer in the transfer window is expected.

With plenty of outgoing transfers, initial signs are good, moving early in the window for Jarrad Branthwaite and reports suggesting INEOS will not be paying the “United tax” we have become so accustomed to.

Speaking of United tax, I hope Antony is reviewing last season and looking to make amends. After a very underwhelming campaign, off-field issues and huge question marks over his attitude and application have led many to believe he should be moved on this summer. Fans would also be forgiven for thinking at least two-thirds of his €95m fee has been wasted and his career is hurtling towards a few YouTube reels as his only positive selling point.

With the manager safe and Antony his biggest investment, I reckon Antony is staying this summer. It would be a huge concession for Ten Hag to let him go and admit he got it wrong bringing him in from Ajax just two years ago. He knows the player well and will surely aim to get the very best out of Antony for him to be able to turn it around. While excuses could be made that his off-field problems were a major distraction, what cannot be forgiven is this nonsense of talking behind his hand after poor performances, very little output in terms of goal-scoring threat and sulking when asked to cover at left-back.

Let’s hope Ten Hag was sending the Brazilian a message by not playing him at any stage of the FA Cup final triumph. Between that and no place in the national team squad for this summer’s Copa América, it’s time for Antony to reflect on what he needs to do to prove himself at Manchester United. If not, he surely faces an exit in January or next summer. A vast improvement in performances and attitude next season could be rewarded with a new contract and some trust from the fan base. If he cannot step up, he joins Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho, Romelu Lukaku and Angel Di Maria on the list of expensive flops to have joined the club.

One thing is for sure, three (3) goals and two (2) assists in 38 games doesn’t cut the mustard at Manchester United.

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1 Comment

  1. We need Team players, those who put interests of the whole before their own personal preferences.
    You can’t sulk if asked to play out of position – the Manager doesn’t do that because he’s bored and wants a bit of diversion, it’s because the need has arisen, for whatever reason. We need players who say ‘yep, no problem. It’s an unfamiliar role but I’ll do my best.’

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