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Manchester United confirm agreement with Ajax for Antony; will the Brazilian spark Red Devils' revival?

Manchester United have confirmed they have reached an agreement to sign Antony from Ajax, sparking massive excitement among fans who hope the Brazilian winger can revive the Red Devils' resurgence.

football Manchester United confirm agreement with Ajax for Antony; will the Brazilian spark Red Devils' revival snt
First Published Aug 30, 2022, 6:45 PM IST

In what has sparked massive excitement among Manchester United fans, the signing of Brazilian winger Antony from Ajax was confirmed by the Red Devils on Wednesday, subject to international clearance, personal terms, and a medical exam.

United's interest in the 22-year-old star was reported first in February, and their readiness to make a move for Antony only grew after former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag was roped in as the Red Devils' permanent manager.

Also read: EPL 2022-23: Will Antony debut for Manchester United at Old Trafford against Arsenal?

Manchester United are reportedly set to pay Ajax 100 million euros plus add-ons for Antony, the largest transfer fee ever for an Eredivisie player. Ajax had been holding out for a record price for the Brazilian sensation, and they have now received what they wanted.

Antony will become United's fifth summer signing, following Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro.

The winger has 31 goals and 27 assists in 134 club appearances for Ajax and Sao Paulo and two goals and two assists in nine senior appearances for his native Brazil. Antony, who has won two Eredivisie titles, and a gold medal in the 2020 Summer Olympics, is now seen as the key player who can unlock United's revival.

Despite the considerable duty weight on his shoulders, the 22-year-old player is used to carrying the pressure of expectation. Andre Jardine, one of Antony's former coaches, who worked with him in his formative years at Sao Paulo academy and later with Brazil's Olympic squad, reaffirmed the winger's importance.

In February, Jardine told Globo Esporte, "In Antony's case, the sky is the limit. Who knows how far this player can grow."

"At Sao Paulo, I got on his case, and he knew he had to improve. I made him finish more and asked him to cross with his right foot and work more than the others. That helps to raise the player's awareness, but when he went to Europe, I could see he had matured as a person and sought this as his personal goal," Jardine added.

"Last time we spoke, he told me he was still working on his finishing. I always told him it was the trait missing if he was to be a complete player. Then, in training, I could see he was picking up the ball better, shooting more," his former coach remarked.

Also read: Cristiano Ronaldo transfer saga: Here's what 10 ex-players and pundits want Manchester United to do

If Antony has a flaw, it is that he could score more goals, but other than that, he is the perfect example of a contemporary winger. He can break through defences with his excellent pace, technical dribbling skills, and willingness and ability to apply intense pressure. Because the Brazilian likes to dribble inside and threaten the goal with left-footed strikes, his natural place at United would be on the right of the attack.

When Ajax signed Ten Hag at the age of 19 for a sum of 13 million pounds plus add-ons from Sao Paulo, the Dutchman quickly began to trust him. Together, they went on to win the Dutch Cup and the Eredivisie championship twice. Does he merit the cost? Ten Hag and United fans would encourage Antony to succeed once more and open the legendary club's doors to a promising future.

Here's a look at what Manchester United fans have to say about the Antony deal:

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