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Friday, March 1, 2024

Man Utd flop who left in 2021 is now outperforming Antony

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Man United should have kept hold of their former player. The right-wing has arguably been Manchester United’s weakest position in the starting XI for the past decade. Jadon Sancho and Antony are the latest two players that have been signed in an attempt to fill that role, but neither have impressed. Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo were also both signed, with United viewing them as long-term suitors out wide, but Erik ten Hag has sent the Uruguayan on loan, and he is yet to trust the ex-Atalanta wonderkid. Next summer, the Red Devils will look to address the position once again, with Michael Olise potentially the next star to attempt to break the curse, but should they have stuck with a former attacker instead? Antony’s time at Man United Over the last year and a half, Antony has failed to live up to the high standards of being a United player since signing for a huge £82m, especially considering he broke into the side with a debut goal against Arsenal. The Brazilian has made a further 68 appearances since then, yet he has only added eight goals to his tally and four assists, which is concerning considering he cost such a hefty fee. Alarmingly, what’s even worse is that he has failed to score or assist at all in the Premier League this season after 19 matches, with his only contributions occurring in an FA Cup tie against League Two opponent Newport County. Antony’s 2023/24 Stats Competition Games Goals Assists Premier League 19 FA Cup 1 1 1 Champions League 4 EFL Cup 1 Stats via Transfermarkt To make matters worse, he’s even being outperformed by a player who left in 2021 having net set the world alight in Manchester. Daniel James’ stats since leaving in 2021 Just like Antony, Daniel James’ United career started with a bang, as the winger scored on his debut against Chelsea in 2019. The Welsh attacker would go on to score in three of his first four games for the club, but his game time became limited. This ultimately led to his exit in 2021 at the hands of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, two years after being signed for £15m from Swansea City. The speedster moved to one of the Red Devils biggest rivals in Leeds United for £25m, which remarkably saw United actually profit from him. However, his time at Leeds began slowly, and in 69 games for the club, he has netted 14 goals and registered 12 assists. A loan move to Fulham failed to be a success, but this season he has developed into one of the most dangerous players in the Championship. James’ 2023/24 Championship Stats Stats James Games 27 Goals 10 Assists 6 Big chances created 11 Key passes (Per game) 1.60 Shots (Per game) 2.30 Stats via Sofascore As you can see, James has netted ten goals and registered six assists in the league this season over 27 games, which is the seventh-best goal-contribution record in the league. United could have done with this level of output from Antony this season, with it only being recently that Ten Hag’s team have started to find the back of the net consistently. But it still begs the question: Would United have been better off keeping James over their recent right-wing acquisitions?

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