Club News: Edwin van der Sar admits that Antony and Lisandro Martinez’s move to Manchester United was hard to swallow
Both the winger and centre-back were signed from Ajax this summer and have established themselves as regulars under Erik ten Hag.
While rivals Arsenal were also interested in the centre-back, they were rejected by the Dutch club. Now, as reported in The Times (subscription required) [h/t Daily Mail], the former United legend believes both players should have stayed for another year.
“It was our opinion they should stay for another year. We gave a firm ‘no’ to Arsenal when they came first for Lisandro; we fought hard to keep him. It was [an] economic [decision] but it was a hard one to take. We knew there was interest but not at that level and it was too late to find a good replacement. I don’t think the way [Antony] handled it was the correct one, but it’s important all the players who leave Ajax have success because it reflects well on us.”
Antony took the Premier League by storm, scoring in his first three Premier League games. He has been a regular for the club, playing in 10 games so far in all competitions.
Martinez meanwhile has formed a formidable partnership with Raphael Varane at the back. Both the centre-backs are first-choice for Ten Hag and have been exceptionally good for the club so far.
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The Dutch side have fared well so far in the Eredivisie. They sit at the top of the table with 28 points but are likely to be eliminated to the Europa League from the UEFA Champions League this season.
As for the Reds, things could have been better with the Manchester-based club sitting fifth in the league and are a point away from qualification to the next round in the Europa League.