Erik ten Hag explains why Antony has zero goals or assists for Man Utd | Football


The Brazilian, who cost £85million, has been woefully out of form (Picture: Getty)

Erik ten Hag believes there is a ‘very simple’ reason for Antony’s underwhelming performances for Manchester United this season and is backing the struggling winger to re-find his best form.

The Brazilian, who swapped Ajax for Old Trafford in the summer of 2022 in a deal worth £85million, has failed to score or assist in 21 appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions.

He was a little more productive last season, though still only netted four goals and laid on just two assists in the Premier League, meaning he is averaging a key contribution every 454 minutes (or around once every five matches) in the league since leaving Ajax.

Antony missed three games in September after being given a leave of absence following allegations of domestic abuse and Ten Hag believes those off-pitch issues are still having a big impact, but feels the conversation around his performances has actually been blown out of proportion.

Asked if he can explain Antony’s struggles in the Premier League, Ten Hag replied: ‘I can explain, it’s very simple. I think his off-field issues stops him playing.

‘I don’t agree [that he has struggled in the Premier League], I think his first year was okay, and I think pre-season was very okay.

‘First four games were very good. For instance, I’ve seen the game against Spurs back, he played a very good game over there.

Manchester United star Antony

Antony is still waiting for his first goal of the season (Picture: Getty)

‘But from the moment he was out and then he came back, he didn’t deliver the performance we should expect from him and he can do so much better.

‘If you mention Ajax, also I looked back there. His effectiveness, his end product was very high there, also in the Champions League, [it was] very high.

‘So, I’m sure he’s capable of doing this by bringing key actions, key passes, the crosses, the finishing.

‘His end product in Ajax was very high, he should return to those levels but of course the Premier League is more difficult. He’s capable of doing it.’

Probed on whether the off-field issues are still troubling Antony, Ten Hag added: ‘It has had an effect. It has had an impact on him, definitely.

‘He has to deal with that, he caused them, so he has to sort them out. We will give him all the support but he has to do better.’

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