Antony transfer concern raised as Man Utd not ready for Brazilian star

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Manchester United may not be ready for a player like Antony, according to Liverpool legend Steve Nicol. United are set to sign the Ajax star for a fee of £85million but Nicol isn’t convinced the deal will work straight away.

Antony has flown into Manchester and was at the club’s Carrington training ground on Monday. He underwent his medical ahead of signing a long-term contract at Old Trafford.

United boss Erik ten Hag knows the Brazilian well having managed him for two years at Ajax. However, Nicol says the winger will find a different task in front of him than what he is used to in Holland.

Ajax won the title in both of Antony’s full seasons at the club. Ten Hag’s side would often dominate possession in matches.

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However, that has not been the case so far in his reign at United. Nicol believes the more reserved approach from the Red Devils may not suit Antony.

Nicol is a big fan of the player and believes comparisons to Hakim Ziyech are unfair. However, he doubts whether United have grown enough for them to accommodate a player of his talent.

The pundit said on ESPN FC: “I think [the Ziyech comparison] is a little harsh on the player, I can understand the comparison. I don’t think any of us can question the ability of Antony.

“I think what we have to question is how’s Antony going to get on the ball to produce all the things we’ve just shown and all the things we’re talking about. Because right now Manchester United are not a side who are dominating anybody in the Premier League. Anybody.

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“I don’t care if they’re top of the league or bottom of the league, they’re not dominating anybody. So the first thing they’re doing right now is getting behind the ball.

“I don’t know if Antony can do that. And right now that’s how Manchester United are.

“They’re starting from the bottom and the first thing they’re doing is defending and keeping it tight and having a nice solid line and a solid base. Not ‘let Antony get the ball on the edge of the opposition’s box and let him do his stuff’.

“So that would be my concern. My concern is not whether the guy has got talent. It’s is he going into a United side that’s ready for him? Never mind him being ready for them.”

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