MU's Rookie Worth 100 Million Euros
MU's Rookie Worth 100 Million Euros
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Coach Ten Hag just left Ajax to move to lead Man Unitd not long ago. Immediately after becoming the new MU captain, he asked the Red Devils BLD to recruit Antony, who was his favorite student at Ajax. According to the Daily Mail, the Ajax side has repeatedly rejected Man United's offers related to Antony, but eventually, the parties have reached an agreement to transfer the Brazilian winger.

The burden of responsibility is not small, but Antony, the son of a locksmith, raised in a slum in the state of Sao Paulo, is accustomed to the pressures of expectations.

Who is Antony?

Antony Matheus dos Santos is a professional Brazilian footballer who plays for Ajax Amsterdam in the Eredivisie. He is one of the sought-after players in the world right now after enjoying two successful seasons with Ajax.

The striker born in 2000 is the person who continues the tradition of "dancing with the ball" of Brazilian pitchers, in an era when European football considers simplicity and efficiency the ultimate realm.

Like his seniors Ronaldinho, Robinho or, more closely, Neymar, Antony is always ready to make the crowd extremely excited because of the unbelievable handling.

Antony's development path is also characterized by the stars of Samba, with the "jumping" steps to go from his home country of Brazil to the most famous football teams in the world in Europe.

Born on February 24, 2000, Antony grew up in Sao Paulo's academy and began to attract attention when he received the title of "Best Player" in the 2018 J-League Challenge. By 2020, Ajax quit. spent 16 million euros to get Antony's signature from Sao Paulo and in just two years turned the striker into a player worth 100 million euros.

Antony Childhood and Family

Antony Matheus dos Santos came to the world as the last born child, out of three children (himself, a brother and a sister) born of the marital union between his parents.

First thing first, his household is not the super-rich type, but one that lived and fared comfortably as average Brazilian citizens. Antony dos Santos comes from humble middle-class family background.

The footballer’s household is driven by a super Dad (Mr dos Santos). This man knows how important it is to make his family members have that feeling of affection and closeness.

Antony’s household is made up of working-class parents who have good financial education and were never penniless.

The great grandparents of the Brazilian footballer came from Portugal to settle in Brazil. For this reason, we can say that Antony has his family roots in a southern European country.

Antony's Role

Photo: sportsbrief
Photo: sportsbrief

Antony can play well on both sides, which is the flexibility that Erik ten Hag desperately needs at Man Utd. However, the right-wing is still Antony's preferred corridor, where the striker can dribble inwards with his skillful left hand, or cross the ball while moving in the space between the wing and the center.

According to Sky Sports statistics, most of the dangerous opportunities Antony created came from the right.

Man Utd have many wingers, but both Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho tend to play on the left wing, similar to Anthony Elanga. In the context that Rashford is likely to kick instead of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sancho will kick the left wing, leaving the right wing to Antony.

According to Sky Sports, there are many reasons to believe that Antony is suitable for Man Utd's style of play. The Brazilian striker understands Erik ten Hag's preferred approach and tactical system.

Antony's fast, direct play is also suitable for Man Utd. It is not difficult to imagine the former Ajax striker will create the same effect as Rashford or Martial did against Liverpool.

"Man Utd have a tradition of playing very well in attack. Antony is capable of contributing to the club and thriving under Erik ten Hag," Sky Sports said. In addition to speed and technique, Antony is also very good at putting pressure on opponents without the ball at his feet. In the Dutch league, Antony was the sixth-best player to recover the ball in one-third of the opponent's field.

An all-round attacking player who understands Erik ten Hag's style of play like Antony has many chances to succeed.

The problem is that the price of 100 million euros brings a lot of pressure to the players. Many expensive contracts of Man Utd have failed like Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, or somewhat Harry Maguire. Antony needs a lot of effort to meet expectations.


Matheus joined Sao Paulo's academy in 2010, where he began his football journey. At that time, Antony's age was 10. Here is all you need to know about his career.

Sao Paulo (2010-2018)

The 22-year-old nurtured his skills while playing for Sao Paulo's youth teams. His memorable achievement came in 2018 when he helped the club win Japan's J League Challenge tournament. As a result, he won the best player in the tournament award.

Following his brilliant performance, the 22-year-old, alongside Helinho and Igor Gomes, got promoted to the senior team on 26 September 2018. Antony signed a contract with his childhood club until September 2023.

He made his debut for the team on 15 November, coming on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw against Gremio. After that, the speedy winger began attracting attention from top European clubs and getting closer to his dream of playing overseas.

Ajax (2020-date)

The former Sao Paulo winger penned a five-year deal with Ajax on 23 February 2020 for an initial fee of $15.6 million. He scored his first goal for Ajax in a 1-0 win over Sparta Rotterdam on 13 September 2020.

Matheus bagged his first UEFA Champions League goal in a 2-1 away win over Midtjylland during the 2020-21 season. His reputation in Europe has skyrocketed, putting many top clubs on notice. He is now among the most sought-after young wingers on the continent.

The 2021-22 season was yet another remarkable moment for the player, where he proved his doubters wrong. He registered five assists, and a goal as the club dominated Group C of the season's UEFA Champions League. Antony has won two Eredivisie titles (2020-21, 2021-22) and one KNVB Cup (2020-21) with Ajax.

International career

The pacy winger has represented Brazil at various age levels. He joined the under-23 side in 2019 and helped them win the Maurice Revello Tournament. His unique talent and skills earned him a place in Brazil's Olympic squad for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held in 2021.

He started all the games and provided the crucial assist to Malcolm, who scored the only goal in their final against Spain that won them the title. Antony later earned his senior team debut in October 2021, where he also bagged his first goal. He is one of the players Brazil will count on ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Is Antony worth the price of 100 million euros?

Photo: teamtalk
Photo: teamtalk

Man Utd made Antony the second most expensive contract in the club's history, only after the deal with Paul Pogba (105 million euros) in June 2016. However, when he returned to Man Utd, Pogba proved his ability at Juventus, playing in the 2014/15 Champions League final.

As for Antony, this striker has just shown himself in the framework of the Dutch league, has not had any achievements in the Champions League.

But if you ask coach Erik ten Hag whether Antony is worth the record price, the answer is definitely yes.

"As soon as Erik ten Hag came to Old Trafford, I thought he would bring Antony because the Dutch coach is the one who elevates the players," expert Tim Vickery told Sky Sports. In the assessment of a coach of the Brazilian Olympic team two years ago, Antony was commented on as talented but just stopped at the "raw gem".

"Antony played for the Brazilian Olympic team and faced the task of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. Brazil had an important match against Argentina. Antony was the mainstay of the Brazilian team, but when it came to Argentina, he had to sit on the bench. Why? Because he's a winger, left-footed, and often slows down the team's attack tempo.

Every time he receives the ball, Antony will push to his dominant foot and lose the attack rhythm of the whole team. He's good, but his playstyle is still rough. However, Erik ten Hag still sees Antony's potential. Under his guidance, Antony was able to kick well on the flanks, improve decision-making speed and support the downline," recalled a member of the Brazilian Olympic coaching staff.

Antony was later called up to the Brazil squad, scoring twice in nine games under Tite. According to the head coach of the yellow and green team, Antony has the same technical qualities as Neymar, but the striker's parameters at Ajax are not really impressive.

18 goals, 14 assists after 57 matches is the number Antony achieved in the Dutch tournament. Antony's goal tally is only 19th in the tournament for the same time period. However, coach Erik ten Hag still appreciates the performance of his students, because the Champions League is truly the stage of the Brazilian striker.

Antony scored 2 goals and assisted 4 times in 7 matches in the Champions League last season, including 2 matches that "suffered" the Borussia Dortmund defense.

Coach Erik ten Hag trusts Antony, but also knows how to motivate his students. In March, after Antony helped Ajax win 2-0 against AZ Alkmaar in the semi-finals of the Dutch Cup, Erik ten Hag warned his students not to play cumbersome and ostentatious.

"He needs to focus on football. Antony is Ajax's weapon, but he has to convert his energy into efficiency in the game and less cumbersome. Antony has speed, ability to create pressure, good dribbling. . He has to promote his strengths more, "said Erik ten Hag.

Erik ten Hag's reminders helped Antony improve. "Every player coached by Erik ten Hag gets better. He gives me confidence in what I can do. I'm always indebted to that," the Brazilian striker said.

Besides Antony, Man United target 4 more transfers

According to the Telegraph, MU wants to bring back 4 more recruits to Old Trafford for the rest of the 2022 transfer window to strengthen the squad.

First, MU wants to recruit Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka as a backup plan for David De Gea. Dubravka himself is also very hungry to come to the Red Devils and he is ready to replace the role of Dean Henderson - who joined Nottingham Forest on loan.

Second, MU is looking to own a right-back in the context that Diogo Dalot is too lonely, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka does not meet the requirements. Barca's Sergino Dest emerged as a potential target. In addition, there is Vanderson of Monaco. The transfer fee of one of these two players is expected to be less than £ 50 million - the amount that MU spent to buy Wan-Bissaka in 2019.

Third, MU wants to bring in another central midfielder despite owning Christian Eriksen and most recently Casemiro. Barca's Frenkie de Jong is of course the number one priority, but things are not simple when the Dutch international wants to stay at Camp Nou.

Finally, MU plans to recruit another striker in the context that the future of Cristiano Ronaldo is a big unknown. At the age of 37, even if CR7 stayed, it would not help the club much, so the Red Devils are targeting "old man" Memphis Depay.

If all four of these goals can be completed, the opportunity for MU to compete for tickets to the Champions League 2023/24 is relatively feasible.

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