How Man Utd targets Antony and Cody Gakpo compared in the Eredivisie last season
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With the transfer window set to shut in less than two weeks, the pressure is heating up on Manchester United to bolster their squad as much as possible.
Erik ten Hag has expressed interest in two Eredivisie stars in Antony and Cody Gakpo - with the former playing under the Dutchman at Ajax.
The duo are two of the Netherlands’ most exciting forwards and are both thought to be keen on a move to Old Trafford, though it remains unclear which one - or either - could end up in the Premier League before next week’s deadline.
While United are thought to be after both players, there’s no doubt one in particular that fans will have their eye on.
We have taken a look at Antony and Gakpo and compared their stats from last season...
Antony made 23 appearances in the Eredivisie last season (21 starts) after suffering an ankle injury in March that saw him miss the remainder of the season, while Gakpo made 27 appearances (22 starts) and was also absent for a total of 50 days due to two separate injuries.
Goals & assists
Gakpo wins this round, with 12 league goals compared to Antony’s eight - however he of course had five more matches to score in than the Brazilian.
Antony is yet to reach double figures in one campaign for Ajax, having scored nine in 2020-21.
The pair also bagged two goals each in the Champions League last time out, with the former netting in a dominating 4-0 win over Borussia Dortmund.
Despite Gakpo’s staggering numbers compared to Antony, it is the Ajax forward that has more shots per game on average, with just shows how clinical Gakpo is.
As well as goals, Gakpo also has assists in the bag too with a whopping 13 compared to Antony’s four.
The Dutchman’s stellar tally for the season led him to claiming the award for the Dutch Footballer of the Year - a trophy previously held by the likes of Clarence Seedorf, Dennis Bergkamp and Arjen Robben.
Winner: Cody Gakpo
According to the stats, Antony played (on average) almost double the amount of passes per game compared to Gakpo, while also having a better pass accuracy (82.%) to the PSV star (77%) - however, Gakpo is thought to make almost double the amount of key passes per match.
Neither player spent much time crossing the ball, with both making less than two per match, however this season’s stats show Gakpo is much more capable of a successful cross into the box with a 66% accuracy compared to Antony’s 33%.
Both players are thought to be very pacey and tricky - a nightmare for Eredivisie defenders - though it it is Gakpo that made an average of 2.9 dribbles pg compared to Antony’s 1.8.
Despite this, the Brazilian also tends to win more fouls and is also dispossessed less.
This could suggest Antony is much harder to claim the ball from and perhaps more skillful or that it is just because Gakpo is willing to take on more players that he is of course expected to then get dispossessed more.
However, stats also show that Gakpo endures more ‘bad control’ per game - so perhaps Antony is better on the ball overall.
Bar Antony making slightly more tackles per game than Gakpo, the Dutchman dominates in all defensive stats.
This suggests Gakpo gets back to help his defenders out more and tracks his man back, though that could be to do with the system the play rather than Antony just simply not bothering.
Winner: Cody Gakpo
Ajax and PSV faced off on four occasions last season - with both teams claiming two wins each.
Their last meeting came in April’s KNVB Cup final with Gakpo scoring the winner - however Antony was sidelined with an injury.
The previous clash ended with three points on the road for Ajax however neither player scored, while the reverse fixture was dominated by the Dutch champions with Antony bagging the third in a 5-0 victory.
The first meeting of the season was in the Johan Cruijff Shield, with PSV claiming a brilliant 4-0 win in which Antony was once again absent.