‘When he’s playing, the team is winning’ – Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag backs ‘YouTube player’ Antony after criticism
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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has defended new signing Antony from criticism over his performances since signing for the club.
The Brazilian has come under-fire for his lack of output, scoring five goals in 19 appearances after an £86million transfer from Ajax.
The deal saw him became the second-most expensive signing in Manchester United’s history.
Known for his dribbling, Antony’s play on the flank has dazzled at times, but his output has lacked in the final third.
And Darren Bent told NaijaOnPoint he thinks the Brazilian can do much better: “All tricks and flicks, no substance at the minute. He’s doing all this stuff but he’s not going past anyone. It’s not like he’s doing a trick to manipulate the ball to go past someone, he’s just doing it for the sake of it.
“A little bit like the spin, at the time I was like ‘ah come on it’s only a spin’.”
Asked if he was becoming a ‘YouTube player,’ Bent said: “A little bit yeah. You clip all the best bits of a footballer and you look at it on YouTube and go ‘wow, I can’t believe we’re signing him!’
“But where’s the substance in between, where’s the end product? I know he started off alright at United, couple of good goals, but where’s the end product?”
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However, Ten Hag has now come out and defended the winger during his press conference ahead of Manchester United’s League Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest – live on NaijaOnPoint.
“When he’s playing, the team is winning. That already gives a message of how well he is performing,” said Ten Hag.
“He can do better, I see space for improvement. For instance, and I think also you know this, we want him to be more direct and be more involved. But, as I said, the team is performing better if he is on the pitch.
“That’s a good thing, that’s a good base to build further. I think he has already made an improvement. In his first three [league] games, he scored three goals.
“Now he was scoring against Everton, he was scoring against Charlton, so also that fact, he has an impact. But I think with his capabilities, with his talents, he can do even more. But as I said, I think he has [made] a good contribution in the team.”