Who is Antony? And how Ajax winger compares to Man Utd’s current stars


The Brazilian winger is on course to become Erik ten Hag’s first summer signing as Man Utd boss, following an impressive season at Ajax in 2021/22 under the Dutchman

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It has been a slow and frustrating month since the Premier League campaign ended for Manchester United, with not a single player signed as a number of their top six rivals have already splashed the cash.

However, that may just be about to change, following reports that club officials have flown to Amsterdam to negotiate a deal for Ajax winger Antony, with the Red Devils now ready to table a £ 40 million offer according to ESPN in Holland.

As Erik ten Hag looks to secure his first signing this summer, Mirror Football tells you all you need to know about the Brazilian winger, including why United want him, how he performed last season and what has been said about him.

Who is Antony?

Antony Matheus dos Santos, or simply known as Antony, currently plays as a winger for 2021/22 Eredivisie champions Ajax and the Brazil national team, for who has produced a number of impressive displays to become one of the hottest young talents in Europe.

The 22-year-old, born on February 24, 2000, in the Osasco region of Sao Paulo, came through the academy ranks of his hometown club after joining at the age of eight in 2010, before making his first team appearance in November 2018 and eventually joining Ajax just 18 months later in February 2020.

On the international stage, the 5ft 9in winger has represented Brazil’s Under-23 side since 2019, and featured for them as recently as last summer’s postponed 2020 Summer Olympics, while he made his debut for the senior side just two months later, and has so far scored two goals in nine appearances for the Selecao.

Antony could become Manchester United’s first signing of the summer under Erik ten Hag



Soccrates / Getty Images)

What sort of impact do you think Antony would have at Man Utd under Erik ten Hag? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Career so far

After winning the J League Challenge tournament in Japan with Sao Paulo’s youth side in 2018 and voted as the best player of the tournament, Antony signed a five-year contract with the first team in September that year. After three appearances that season, the 22-year-old scored six goals in 45 appearances in the 2019 season to earn himself a move to Ajax.

The Brazilian agreed a five-year deal for an initial £ 13 million in February 2020, and hit the ground running in his first season at the club with 10 goals and 10 assists as Ajax completed the league and cup double. In his most recent campaign, Antony showed no signs of slowing down after recording a further 12 goals and 10 assists to win a second Eredivisie title.

Antony has also registered six goals in 23 appearances for Brazil U23s and helped them to win the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan last summer. He did not make his debut for the senior side until eight months ago, in which he scored in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Venezuela, before adding a second goal to his tally against Paraguay in February.

2021/22 stats

Antony registered 12 goals and 10 assists in all competitions for Ajax last season


Erwin Spek / Getty Images)

As previously mentioned, Antony continued to produce impressive numbers for Ajax last season as they won a second straight Eredivisie title, in which the 22-year-old notched 12 goals and 10 assists in 32 games in all competitions, as per transfermarkt, despite missing the final nine games of the campaign with an ankle injury.

At just 5ft 9in tall, Antony’s game depends a lot on his technical ability, as well as his speed and acceleration to beat his opponents. According to WhoScored.com, the Brazilian averaged 1.8 dribbles per game, with only Paul Pogba recording more for Man Utd (2), and was fouled an average of 1.3 times per game over 23 appearances in the Eredivisie last season.

On top of this, the 22-year-old also averaged 1.6 key passes per game, only bettered by Bruno Fernandes (2.5) and Luke Shaw (2) for the Red Devils, as well as an impressive 3.4 total shots per game in the Dutch top flight during 2021/22, with Cristiano Ronaldo (3.7) the only player in Ralf Rangnick’s side to have a better rating.

What Ten Hag has said about him

United’s new manager Ten Hag knows Antony all too well from their two seasons together at Ajax, as they won the league and cup double in their first season together, before retaining the Eredivisie title last term, and now the Dutchman wants to continue their partnership at Old Trafford.

Speaking to Dutch outlet De Telegraaf earlier this year about the Brazilian and fellow United target Jurrien Timber, Ten Hag said: “I think all top clubs in Europe have Timber in their sights. But I think that currently applies to a lot of Ajax players. If Antony were to go, it would be a loss for Ajax, because you have no-one in the current selection who can take over his position. He is top class. ”

And following Antony’s red card against Feyenoord back in March, Ten Hag also said, as per the Manchester Evening News: “Unnecessarily, he still has to learn that. But I am also happy to have players with temperament. You also need them. He is still young, but do not forget that he has also got an incredible kick. ”

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