Man Utd v Real Sociedad: Pictures
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Manchester United star Antony ‘has poison in his backside’ and was being eyed by Chelsea prior to his move to Old Trafford, it has been claimed. The Brazil international joined the Red Devils for a huge £84.5million back in the summer transfer window. And Erik ten Hag believes that, in the 22-year-old, he has a future superstar in the making at his disposal.
Manchester United initially wanted Darwin Nunez to join them this summer, only for the Uruguay international to end up moving to Liverpool instead.
So, late in the transfer window, the Glazers decided to sanction a massive £84.5m deal for Antony.
It is a deal that has made the Brazil international the second most-expensive signing in United’s entire history, with only Paul Pogba costing the Red Devils more.
The 22-year-old has already made an instant impact, netting in a recent 3-1 win over Arsenal.
Yet Piet de Visser, who worked as a scout for Chelsea during the Roman Abramovich era, has revealed he was eyeing the Samba star during his time in Stamford Bridge.
And he’s also hailed Antony for the fight he displays on the field, insisting the former Ajax attacker has ‘poison in his backside’.
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Speaking to Voetbal Nieuws podcast ‘The King of Manchester’, he said: “Together with Hans van der Zee [former Ajax head scout] we saw him for the first time at Brazil’s youth ranks and we were both charmed by him.
“That was a few years ago, just before he went to Ajax.
“I thought he had to make an intermediate step and then Hans suggested Ajax. And then we would take him right from Ajax.”
“We couldn’t get him, I would have wanted him.
“He’s a boy with poison in his backside. He sometimes crosses the line, but he comes from the favela, doesn’t he?”
Now, Chelsea’s loss could be United’s gain.
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Antony was poor against Real Sociedad on Thursday night, with the 22-year-old hooked as his team hunted an equaliser.
But Ten Hag believes the forward has all the attributes to be a huge hit at Old Trafford, hence why he was so eager to bring him in.
Antony, meanwhile, addressed living in a favela upon moving to the Premier League – admitting he’s experienced some ‘very difficult times’ in his life.
“A long story. I went through a lot, a lot of difficult moments in my life,” he told club media.
“I know that this will be another challenge. I went through a lot in the past, no football boots, nothing to eat, three or four in the morning bailing water out of my house as it had flooded.
“They were very difficult times but I went through it all with a smile.
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“I’m certain it was all worth it as I’m reaping the rewards now for what was planted in the past.
“Those moments have contributed to everything I’m now experiencing. I have another challenge now and a lot of stories to tell you, I’ll tell you more another day.
“I feel honoured to be here after everything I went through in the past. Today I can see it was all worth it.”
And he added: “I played in my community, I lived in a favela, I lived there until I started playing professionally at Sao Paulo.
“People wouldn’t believe that after seeing me on TV I’d be going back home to the favela at full-time.
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“I didn’t have the means to leave. My memories are playing barefoot as I didn’t have any boots, playing on the yard with my friends, from afternoon ‘til evening playing football there.
“They are happy memories, I’m not embarrassed to share them. Everything I went through was worth it to be having this experience here today.
“I’ve always been very persistent, when I want something I go after it until I get it.
“I always had plan A to be a professional footballer, there was no plan B. It was always plan A, I was going to carry out plan A to make it and fulfil mine and my family’s dream.
“I always had this in mind, I can’t imagine what I might have become, as I always believed I’d make it regardless of the difficulties I would face. I’m fulfilling my dream.”
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