Hargreaves makes Man Utd prediction after ‘fantastic’ £86m signing of Antony

Joe Williams
Former Man Utd midfielder Owen Hargreaves looks up

Former midfielder Owen Hargreaves has praised Man Utd for the “fantastic signing” of Antony from Ajax for £86m this summer.

The Red Devils left it until late in the transfer window to seal the deal with the huge transfer for the Brazilian being confirmed on deadline day.

There were doubts a deal would be done because of Ajax’s huge asking price but Man Utd gave in later in the window to make sure Erik ten Hag got his man.

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Some have questioned the fee for a player completely unproven in England after Antony became the fourth most expensive signing in Premier League history.

But Hargreaves seems to have watched a lot of Antony and thinks Man Utd have picked up a “fantastic signing” regardless of the big price tag.

“This is a proper Brazilian player with flair, he will bring entertainment, goals and assists,” Hargreaves told BT Sport.

“I think what not many people know about him is he’s brilliant on the press, he can initiate the press above the pitch.

“He’s obviously creative too. I think Man United fans are going to love him. They’ve paid a lot of money for him but I think he will be a fantastic signing.

“He’s got tricks and creativity but he’s also got personality. Winning the ball back is a big thing in Ten Hag’s system and he will fit in like a glove with that.”

Antony is expected to go straight into Ten Hag’s team when they face Arsenal on Sunday with Hargreaves claiming Anthony Elanga will make way for the new Man Utd Brazilian.

Hargreaves added: “Antony Elanga will come out.

“Antony will play on the right-hand side, Jadon will go to the left and Marcus [Rashford] and Anthony [Martial] will be the two with Cristiano [Ronaldo] up top.

“When you pay that money for a player, he’s going to play, he has to play.”

Antony’s exit left a sour taste in the mouth of Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder after the Brazil international refused to train in order to force a move.

“If you’re Ajax, it’s just bad that this happens,” Schreuder told Ziggo Sport. “I’ve talked about it with him. If you’re disappointed for a day or two, I understand, but at some point you’re a professional.

“Then I said: ‘I will continue with the guys who are there’. At a certain point you get angry about it, like… what are we doing? Looking at the total picture, that frustrates you as a trainer, but also how you stand in the world.

“Then I think, ‘you’re just a player, you just have to do your thing’. But my personal feeling is that it’s just bad.”

On the fee, Schreuder added: “Today, the amounts are crazy. Barcelona paid €115m (£99m) for [Ousmane] Dembele, Manchester United also paid more than €100m (£84m) for [Jadon] Sancho. Then you can pay that for him [Antony] too.

“Are the players worth it? No. But it will be paid.”