‘Just baffling’: Man United lands $144m star, but ‘desperate’ reality cannot be ignored
‘Just baffling’: Man United lands $144m star, but ‘desperate’ reality cannot be ignored: Manager Erik ten Hag has acquired his man as Manchester United look to continue their surge up the Premier League ladder.
The talented winger Antony is the second most expensive signing in the history of the English club.
It is rumored that the Red Devils have spent €100 million ($144m AUD) to attract the attention of the star winger to Old Trafford from Dutch powerhouse Ajax. In reality, United has not disclosed what the fee was.
The Red Devils have raided on the five-time Champions League winners, after taking advantage of the services of former manager, Hag, and in-form defender Lisandro Martinez.
Antony bagged 31 goals and had 27 assists in 134 appearances for both Ajax and Sao Paulo. He went on to win nine caps for his country.
Footballer reporter Alex Crook has a belief that United is paying more than they should for the talented forward. He feels that Antony is yet to prove himself outside of the Netherlands.
“That was the information I got this afternoon, that talks were progressing positively between Manchester United and Ajax, as I guess they would be when United are willing to spend £84 million on a player who surely they could’ve got for a fraction of that earlier in the window,” Crook told The Transfer Hub on the show of talkSPORT.
“Clubs know that Manchester United, after their poor start to the season… are getting desperate and therefore the price has gone up.”
“I think he is a good player by the way so I do not think we should hold the price tag against Antony, but I think it’s a lot of money who’s only really proven in the Dutch league.
“Erik ten Hag is finally going to get one of his long-term targets.”
United sat last on the ladder after two games. They also had an awful start to their Premier League. The English giants went on to splash the cash in the transfer window.
Five-time Champions League winner Casemiro moved from Real Madrid last week with a great deal. Casemiro made his debut off the bench playing against Southampton on Saturday.
The Red Devils seem hell-bent on turning their fortunes around for a good, well-known football personality. Mark Goldbridge, on the other hand, also isn’t convinced by the news.
Speaking before the official announcement, Goldbridge said that he is looking forward to seeing Antony play for United. But he questioned the price tag.
“I really, really like Antony, I said it a few months ago when we were linked to him in June… this is a player that would probably be the most exciting signing for United because he gets you on the edge of the seat,” Goldbridge told talkSPORT.
“But to be paying £84 million or €100 million for him, smashing the Eredivisie record which had been set by (Frenkie) de Jong going from Ajax to Barcelona.”
“It’s just baffling the amount of money that Manchester United are chucking at any player at this stage of the transfer window.”
After United said that they had signed the Brazil winger, Ajax manager Alfred Schreuder talked about the “crazy” free that the English club paid for him.
According to The Telegraph, it was rumored that United had three bids rejected. The bids included a €90 million offer ($131m AUD).
“Today, the amounts are crazy,” Schreuder told in the Ziggo Sports program.
“Barcelona paid €115m for (Ousmane) Dembele, Manchester United paid more than €100m for (Jadon) Sancho.”
“Then you can pay that for him (Antony) too. Are the players worth it? No. But it will be paid.”
Manchester United was under humongous pressure to start this season. United slumped to a 30-year low and lost to league minnows Brighton and Brentford in back-to-back games.
The players of English football had fallen, although temporarily, to the bottom of the Premier League line.
The Red Devils rose from the bottom with a statement win over rivals Liverpool at home. The Red Devils continued their revival with a 1-0 win at Southampton.
Ten Hag drove the United’s ship in the right direction after a disastrous start to his maiden campaign. The club’s head coach added a familiar face to his squad in the form of Antony.
“It is a lot of money. It showed up in a way, the desperation that United have to try to get him. Remember they tried earlier in the summer,” Julien Laurens told ESPN FC.
“Come on, €100 million for someone that they will make a huge profit on, who’s been really good to them, but clearly he’s not worth that money.
“Clearly he is a very talented player but not to the level of someone paying that kind of price and kind of money for you.
“You don’t how well he will adapt to United, despite knowing ten Hag very well already, how he will adapt to the Premier League. All of that is still very risky.
“(For) €100 million, let’s be honest here is a top, top world-class player which Antony is not yet… he might become the best winger in the world but right now he’s nowhere near that.
“He still has a lot to prove. It’s still a big gamble, it’s one that might be worth taking for United and ten Hag but again, let’s not forget, €100 million is a lot of money.”
The transfer deadline is rapidly approaching. The club is desperate after they missed out on 33-year-old striker Marko Arnautovic.
They turned their attention back to Ajax though it is unclear whether that played a part in the deal.
But clearly, United has faith that Antony has world-class potential. United believes that he can play a key role in the Red Devils’ return to former glory.
“A long-running recruitment saga has finally come to a close, with the 22-year-old having been identified by the Red Devils as a top target early in the summer window,” Chris Burton wrote for GOAL.
“Antony’s arrival adds more firepower to the collective ranks at United, with a man that hit 25 goals through 82 appearances for Ajax set to fill a wide attacking role in a system that favors a front three.”
Kevin Van Nunen interacted with Europsport Netherlands and said that Antony is the “real deal”. He suggested that he is a great signing for the Red Devils.
“I think it is fair to say Antony has exceeded expectations. It’s relatively new for Ajax to pick up players in Brazil but after some success in Argentina, Ajax decided to purchase some Brazilian talent,” Van Nunen said.
“Antony is great at tricking defenders, he just plays with them, whether it’s Eredivisie or on European level.
“He is also a team player. He had to learn how to operate defensively, but he did.”