Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is poised to bring his former Ajax winger, Antony, to Old Trafford.
The signing of Antony makes a lot of sense for ten Hag’s new-look United side, certainly from a tactical point of view.
The Red Devils have been crying out for a left-footed inverted winger for some time, with fans already baited into thinking the problem was solved when Amad Diallo arrived last year. Though he was not given a chance and at this stage, Ten Hag needs established players that he can rely on.
In almost every aspect of their play style under Ralf Rangnick, United were one-dimensional and it was a similar case under Ole Gunnar-Solskjær.
In order to shake up the attack, they can make use of an inverted approach – just like Pep Guardiola utilises when deploying Riyad Mahrez on the right-wing.
The Algerian has endured repeated success in this role, cutting inside in a bid to wrong-foot the central defenders and fire a shot at goal, a style of play that has rewarded him with 63 goals and 46 assists in City colours. An inverted approach adds another dimension in the attack and allows for a wide player to operate almost solely in the half-space, which also results in more space for the centre-forward.
Antony can shine in the “Mahrez” role for United, and has proven his ability under Ten Hag at Ajax, having notched up 12 goal contributions in 23 Eredivisie appearances last season, in the form of eight goals and four assists. With that in mind, it’s hardly a surprise that he’s been described as an “unreal” footballer by Andre Noruega.
It looks as though Ten Hag has a real strategy, with his targets thus far all tailored to his mass-possession philosophy.
United should wrap this deal up pronto.