Antony challenged to improve output for Man Utd as Erik ten Hag insists £85m man 'can kill opponents'
- Ten Hag expects more from Antony
- Brazilian cost United £85m in summer
- Hasn't scored Premier League goal since October
WHAT HAPPENED? Ten Hag has admitted he expected more from Antony after his £85 million summer move from Ajax, but also praised the Brazilian's efforts and pointed to his knack for scoring decisive goals in the Europa League.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "Of course we expect [more] from front line players, they are not only a threat but also they have effect in the final third and he has to work on that but he is a young player," Ten Hag said ahead of United's Europa League quarter-final first leg against Sevilla.
"You mention he is not scoring in the Premier League but he did against [Real] Betis, a really important goal after half-time and against Barcelona, the winner, you can’t say they are not big games. If you can do it in such games you can also do it in Premier League games but like many more players you have to step up and we have to step up as well and win games together."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Antony became United's second biggest signing of all time when he joined from Ten Hag's former club Ajax, but his output has been hugely disappointing. He has only scored three times in the Premier League, with his last goal coming in the 2-1 win at Everton in October. He also has no assists in the league. However, he has delivered on big European nights against Real Betis and Barcelona.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Ten Hag backed his forward to turn things around and add goals to his game, praising his attitude. "That is my experience with him, he is a fighter and he likes challenges and with him teams are winning," he added. "That is why is in the Selecao [Brazil team] and selected in the starting 11. He is a very young player, he can kill opponents, we saw on Saturday against Everton the manager brings at half-time another left-back [taking off Ben Godfrey] because he is killing the player."
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WHAT NEXT? United host Europa League specialists Sevilla in Thursday's quarter-final first leg.