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As the transfer window slammed shut on the 1st of September, Manchester United completed one of the biggest and most expensive signings of the summer. While the club has never been reluctant to splash money on marquee signings, some fans still questioned the amount of money it cost to bring in Antony from Ajax.
The 22-year-old cost a cool £86 million, becoming the club’s third most expensive signing in history. After Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku. Considering the fate of these previous two, some might question whether Anthony made the right decision in joining the Red Devils. The club has struggled in recent seasons, with major changes to management and growing fan discontent following poor results on the pitch.
However, more optimistic Manchester United fans will point out that signing stars like Anthony shows the club still has a lot of pull. It’s also a good sign that the club is building toward the future. Although they had a rough start under new coach Erik Ten Hag, their results have improved, and competing for major trophies could still be on the cards. If you’d like to bet on Manchester United’s season, you can find the best new betting sites on Squawka Bet. Sign up today to claim your bonuses and place your bets.
Antony Matheus dos Santos, better known simply as Antony, is a 22-year-old winger from Brazil. Originally playing for Sao Paulo, the attacking player was signed by Manchester United from Ajax, where he played under Erik Ten Hag. United’s new coach was clearly a big fan of Antony, as he made him one of his most important targets for this season. Manchester United have lacked a threatening presence on the right wing for some time now, and the hope is that Antony can offer goals and assists during their Premier League campaign.
After joining Ajax from Sao Paulo in 2020, Antony played a total of 82 appearances while scoring 24 goals and providing 22 assists. He’s also had nine caps so far for the Brazil senior side, scoring two goals and providing two assists. He’s clearly an attacking threat and offers both goals and assists from the right side. Since joining, he’s already delivered on his debut, helping United beat Arsenal at Old Trafford by scoring the opening goal. If he can keep up these performances, there’s little doubt he can become a fan favourite.
Antony has been described as one of the most exciting young talents in European football, and he could be just what United needed to get back to winning ways. Speaking of his move to Manchester, the Brazilian had the following to say. “Playing under Erik ten Hag at Ajax was perfect for me and my development. His style of football and coaching brings out the best in me, and I am excited by what he has told me about his plans and ambitions in Manchester.”
With an impressive record at Ajax and touted as one of the biggest stars of the next few years, there are some who say Antony could have joined just about any team he wanted. Manchester United are a huge team with a lot of resources to spend, but their success in the last few years has dwindled. In fact, their last trophy came in 2017 under Jose Mourinho, when they won the Europa League. This makes it their longest trophy drought in forty years and is a constant source of humiliation for their supporters, especially considering the success of rivals Manchester City.
Since Alex Ferguson left the club, Manchester United have somewhat lacked an identity. They’ve gone from manager to manager, hiring David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and now Erik Ten Hag. Each manager has had a different philosophy and style, and each has brought new, expensive signings. Many of these signings have failed at the club and now sit on big wages, causing issues in the dressing room and general discontent.
After two losses in their opening games, including a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Brentford, many pundits predicted that it could be another difficult season. However, wins over Southampton, Liverpool and Arsenal have followed, and United seem to be turning over a new leaf. Antony could be a major part of the rebuild project that Ten Hag has started, and his debut goal provides some much-needed hope to Manchester United fans.