Manchester United’s new boss, Erik ten Hag, will take charge of the club. He has been given a heavy transfer budget to bring in new players and off-load some of the underperforming or unwanted players. The former Ajax boss is looking for options to strengthen the Red Devils’ attack and defence. He has some targets in his mind, and one of them is Ajax’s Brazilian right-forward, Antony. Antony impressed everyone with his performances in the UEFA Champions League as well as in the domestic league. He plays on the right side, and Manchester United have very few options on that particular side.
Antony was a regular part of Ajax’s squad that made it to the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League in the 2021/22 season. The 22-year-old Brazilian scored two goals and provided four assists. He had six goals and seven assists in seven appearances. When looking at the above chart, the general rule is that the longer the bar, the better the performance — you can see the league average in the middle, and the % is the percentile rank the player is in. The above viz compares Antony’s performances with those of other forward players in the competition. The right-forward player was very effective with his passing and had a very high percentile rank. He averaged 48 passes per 90 minutes with an accuracy rate of 81.1%. One of the interesting things that can be noticed is that the player averages five crosses per 90 minutes. Most of the United players are ineffective with their crosses and struggle to find their teammates inside the box. Antony has found his teammates four times each in the UCL and Eredivisie.
The above viz shows the pass starting location as well as the xT timeline. Antony has stayed wide but also likes to penetrate the opposition box and attempt a few passes from there. He had 36 touches inside the opposition’s penalty box, with an average of more than five touches per 90 minutes.
As mentioned earlier, the attacker likes to cut inside and attempt shots towards the opposition goal. This season, he attempted 24 shots and managed to hit the target ten times. Most of the shots were attempted from the left side of the goalkeeper. The forward also scored eight goals in the league, and his overall goal scoring tally for the season was 12.
The player and the manager have spent the last two seasons together and already know each other. Antony will find it easy to adjust to the game style and could be a handy addition to a less productive attack. Manchester United signed Jadon Sancho last year to play on the right. But the midfielder was used as a left-forward by the managers. Antony could easily be slotted into the right-forward position after getting used to the pace of the English Premier League. However, the Red Devils will face competition from other clubs to acquire his signature.
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