Manchester United winger Antony was singled out after their 3-2 defeat to Arsenal, with Gary Neville claiming more quality is needed up front from the Red Devils.
The Lowdown: Antony at United
The Brazilian hit the ground running at Old Trafford following his £81.3m (BBC) summer move from Ajax, with Erik ten Hag making him part of his new plans at United.
He propelled himself into the spotlight with a debut goal against Arsenal, which was followed by goals against Manchester City and Everton in the forthcoming Premier League games, but he’s since failed to bag in the league amid a stuttering return following the World Cup.
In the defeat in north London on Sunday, he failed to complete a single cross and lost possession 15 times in his 71 minutes on a frustrating evening (via Sofascore).
The Latest: Neville disappointed
Antony’s start at Old Trafford has gone full circle, with his bow against the Gunners showing signs of what was hoped to come, but fast-forward four months to the return fixture and he’s flattered to deceive once again.
Speaking on his podcast on Sky Sports following the defeat, former United captain Neville singled out the Brazilian as someone who must do more with Ten Hag lacking quality up front.
He said: “I wish they had better quality up front in the final third. Obviously, Sancho’s not out there and you would expect that Manchester United would have better options from the bench, but they haven’t at this moment in time.
“I want to see a little bit more from Antony, to be honest with you – £90m signing. I think that to have to take him off is a disappointment, because you’d like to think that like Martinelli and Saka, who are also young players, that Rashford and Antony could have been the ones on the other side of it that could have counter-attacked for United, but it’s just not quite happening for him at this moment in time.
“He’s got a bit of work to do, and he’s got obviously some sort of growth to go through, and obviously he’s newer to England than the other two are.”
The Verdict: Needs to return to form
Antony’s dip in form is a worrying one for United, who shelled out a huge fee on a player who’s only showing quality in glimpses, with Sofascore only awarding him an average rating of 6.7 over the past three months, which is down from 7.0 during his debut weeks. Indeed, the winger lost the ball 15 times as well as four duels (Sofascore).
We could well be seeing a player who’s having to play himself back to full sharpness after only 516 minutes of football across two months – an average of 64.5 minutes per game.
But with United in control of a top-four spot and the form of Alejandro Garnacho, who’s netted once and has two assists to his name in just 172 minutes of league action, his place could be under severe pressure.
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