Rio Ferdinand baffled by struggles of Manchester United star Antony after Arsenal defeat
Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand has been baffled by the struggles of Antony after his performances in the loss to Arsenal.
The Brazil international started for the Red Devils at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (22 January). Mikel Arteta’s team were victorious against the Old Trafford side, winning 3-2.
“He just doesn’t beat anyone and I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Was that always the way?’. I’ve seen clips of him when he was at Ajax and he was somebody who used to beat people.
“I saw Thomas Partey, who I wouldn’t put down as a sprinter, absolutely burst past him, and I’m thinking, ‘Woah, he (Antony) hasn’t got much power in them legs!’. He’s a tricky winger, but with tricky wingers you want them to still be able to beat the defender.”
He’s right. There was a moment where Thomas Partey burst past him and fans would have wondered if Antony is really the prolific winger they thought he was. When he came in, his selling point seemed to be that he could get past people. But that may just not be the case.
Antony was signed by the Red Devils in the summer of 2022 from Ajax. The Brazil international reunited with Erik ten Hag in Manchester and has been trusted by the Dutch manager in the right wing.
The 22-year-old got off to a brilliant start in his career at the Old Trafford side. Against Arsenal in the reverse fixture in the Premier League, the forward made his debut.
Antony started in the 3-1 win over the Gunners and scored the opening goal of the game. Subsequently, the 22-year-old scored in each of his first three matches in the English top flight.
However, since then, the Brazilian’s performances have petered off. In recent fixtures, the forward has failed to make a big enough impact when he has started games.
Marcus Rashford has been heavily relied upon by Ten Hag this season. Alejandro Garnacho is the other attacker who has come in clutch for the Dutch manager with some important contributions.
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Antony is a talented youngster with a lot of potential. However, the forward’s recent displays are not encouraging. United do not have another established player to play on the right wing. Jadon Sancho has been unavailable for some time while Anthony Elanga is still young. Hopefully, the 22-year-old will be able to find his feet quickly.