Rio Ferdinand has claimed Antony ‘can’t beat anyone’ following Manchester United’s defeat to Arsenal at the weekend. The Brazilian has come under criticism in recent weeks after his move from Ajax in the summer.
The Red Devils spent much of the transfer window chasing Antony’s signature and eventually secured him in a £82 million deadline day deal, however he is still settling into life in the Premier League and is yet to meet expectations. The 22-year-old has netted four goals in all competitions so far this season but hasn’t scored in the league since October.
Antony was named in United’s starting line-up as they were beaten 3-2 by Arsenal on Sunday and once again failed to impress. Speaking on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: “The concerning thing for me with somebody like Antony is that he can’t beat anyone – and for a Brazilian that’s surprising! He just doesn’t beat anyone and I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Was that always the way?’ I’ve seen clips of him when he was at Ajax and he was somebody who used to beat people.
“I saw [Thomas] Partey – who I wouldn’t put down as like a roaster, a sprinter – absolutely burst past him, and I’m thinking, ‘Woah, he [Antony] hasn’t got much power in them legs.’ So, yeah, he’s a tricky winger, but tricky wingers you want them to still be able to beat the defender. Even Zinchenko, he’s a great player, great footballer, but defensively you get him one-v-one and you’re a wide-man, you should feel, ‘I can get hold of this guy and I can deal with him’.”
Antony joined Ajax from Sao Paulo in 2020 and went onto shine in his first two campaigns with the club, bagging 29 goal contributions in Eredivisie. The forward won two league titles during his time in Amsterdam and his fine form also earned him a place in the World Cup squad - however he has so far struggled to replicate his classy performances in the English top flight.