It’s early days for Antony at Manchester United of course but, at this current moment in time, comparisons to Nani seem accurate. The Brazil international is capable of a moment of magic but also infuriates fans with his decision-making of him in the final third. If he can achieve half of what the former Red Devils No 17 did, however, then the club are surely onto a winner.
It’s recently emerged that United have privately conceded they overpaid for Antony, who arrived from Ajax back in the summer transfer window.
Ajax initially wanted a fee in the region of £50million to let the forward go, an amount the Red Devils were unwilling to pay.
But, with United enduring a torrid start to the campaign, the Glazers had no choice but to meet Ajax’s new asking price of £86m.
To put that into perspective, only Paul Pogba has moved to Old Trafford for more.
It cost United a massive £89m to lure the France international back from Juventus in the summer of 2016, four years after he’d quit the club for free.
And, so far, Antony has certainly blown hot and cold at United.
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The Brazil international has returned to goalscoring form in recent times, netting in victories over Everton and Charlton.
His stunning long-range effort against the latter was sublime, setting his side on their path to victory over the League One team.
Yet it hasn’t been plain-sailing for Antony, who has also infuriated fans with his inconsistency in the short time since his arrival.
Antony waxed lyrical over Cristiano Ronaldo when he first moved to the club, clearly joyous at playing alongside the veteran.
But it’s Nani who, at the current moment in time at least, he is beginning to resemble.
Nani arrived from Sporting Lisbon back in the summer transfer window of 2007, dubbed as the next best thing.
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Yet he experienced teething problems during his first few years in Manchester, often being inconsistent during Sir Alex Ferguson’s spell in the dugout.
Nani never produced regularly enough during those early years but, after Ronaldo left, then improved.
He was particularly impressive at the end of the 2009/2010 season, scoring in big games against the likes of Bayern Munich and Tottenham.
And Nani finally achieved consistency in the 2010/2011 season, showing he was worth the patience in the end – even if his career would spiral downwards in the years that followed.
Antony is a similar house. Like Nani, he goes for goal when he should pass. Then vice versa.
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But with five goals to his name already – only Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have managed more this term – there’s a sense he’ll come good in the long run.
United chiefs know that, by paying £86m, they’ve put a target on the player’s back.
Yet they’re adamant he’ll be money well spent come the end of his time at the club and, in their eyes, they’ve buying potential – and not the finished article.
Meanwhile, former United star Andy Cole believes Alejandro Garnacho is a more exciting talent than Antony at the current moment in time.
The Argentina international has flourished under Ten Hag in recent months, establishing himself as one of the best young players on the planet.
“Garnacho excites me more to be honest,” he said.
“I think he’s busy and aggressive when he gets on the ball and he always wants to take people on.
“He looks to drop a shoulder, go past his defender and get crosses in or get his shots off.
“As a center forward like me, when you’ve got a winger like that who wants to put the ball in that makes my mind up early doors because you know you’re in the game.
“I think he’s a really talented player and I’d love to see him get more action this season.”