Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has hailed Antony as ‘top level’ following his debut goal against Arsenal most recently. The previous England international can also be impressed by how Erik ten Hag has taken charge at Old Trafford and implemented discipline within the dressing room, which it lacked previously.
The Red Devils have made a solid begin to the season despite opening defeats to Brighton and Brentford, winning their last 4 matches. Ten Hag’s side have looked like a latest and improved unit, reaping the advantages of their summer spending spree.
After last season’s disappointment, investment was much needed at Old Trafford – and the brand new management were capable of orchestrate a reshuffle value over £200million to clean up the squad. Speaking on Stripped with Specs and Vuj, Ferdinand spoke of how he felt his former club still enjoyed an incredible window, eventually, despite their diminishing ‘pulling power’.
He explained: “The transfer window went from laughing stock to ‘Oh that is serious’, due to pulling power, the badge. It’s not as strong because it was, but Casemiro going from five Champions Leagues at Real Madrid, being comfortable there to going to United. I do know there’s money involved that can sway him I’m sure, but still, he’s got to think ‘I’m going to Man United’, that’s an enormous pull.
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“Antony, getting him. We chased De Jong, that got put to the side but you get Martinez and Malacia and also you’re considering ‘Hold on a minute’, the window’s closed, two games in it’s the usual story, it’s embarrassing, but impulsively, he’s had just a little bit more time and now things are beginning to look just a little bit more regular.”
Ten Hag was keen throughout the summer to reunite with players he had worked with previously, with Antony and Lisandro Martinez each being purchased from his former club Ajax and due to this fact comfortable together with his methods. Though his recruitment was not only what Ferdinand is a fan of, as 43-year-old continued: “I like that he has brought discipline, I similar to a few of the soundbites I’m hearing from him.
“Certainly one of the things I liked probably the most that he said was he was asked if he was completely happy with the players brought in, he said ‘I’m completely happy with the those that I actually have bought’.
“Not only the players, the people. I used to be asking ‘Where’s the character and the personalities within the team? When the chips are down who’s there to fight and lead the dressing room?’ And he has bought it seems good characters, Casemiro an obvious one, Martinez we don’t know an excessive amount of but what we’ve seen in the mean time he’s an excellent character, the appropriate sort you wish in war and in games.
“Antony looks like he desires to be the most important man and is having fun with the limelight, just one game but you may see he had one moment in the sport and scored, that’s top level.”
Antony arrived from Ajax in a deal value £86m, together with his versatility across the frontline seen as a helpful asset in addition to his potential – on condition that he is just 22.