Manchester United were impressive for the most part as they secured victory against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night. But while Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Fred all netted, it was another evening to forget for Antony. He’s now gone 11 games for club and country, meaning the Red Devils have a problem when it comes to their £86million man.
Back in the summer, Manchester United knew they needed a specialist for the right wing.
With Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho better on the opposite flank, along with youngster Alejandro Garnacho, Erik ten Hag was aware that was an area of his squad that needed strengthening.
But while United pondered a move for Cody Gakpo, who is now poised to join Liverpool, Antony arrived instead.
Ten Hag had pressed and pressed the Red Devils board into releasing more funds to acquire the Brazil international, who he’d previously managed at Ajax.
And in the end the Glazers relented, with United paying a huge £86m to secure the player’s signature.
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Initially, it looked money well spent.
Antony impressed on his United debut, opening the scoring as Arsenal were beaten 3-1 on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford.
He then followed that up with a consolation, an impressive one, in the 6-3 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
And Antony was also on target as United beat Everton 2-1 at the start of October, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting a winner that day.
In the time since, however, Antony has struggled. Injuries have been a factor in that but, in the wake of his flat display against Forest, he’s gone 11 matches without a goal or assist for club and country.
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Certainly, he’s not produced the form you’d expect from the second most-expensive signing in the club’s entire history.
Forest were poor at Old Trafford throughout the contest, resembling a side who will be lucky to avoid relegation come the end of the season.
But, still, Antony was unable to showcase his talents as United battled their way to all three points.
He had a glorious opportunity to end his goal duck in the second half, with Bruno Fernandes setting him through on goal.
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Yet Antony showed a lack of composure when it mattered most, with Wayne Hennessy saving his shot when he should, really, have scored.
Just after the hour mark, United decided to make some substitutions with Ten Hag believing his side required tinkering.
And it was no surprise to see Antony come off, with the Samba star making way for Donny van de Beek.
Antony is a top player when fully fit and firing, which is exactly why United decided to spend so lavishly on him in the first place.
But the Red Devils star is currently stuck in a rut and they’ll be hoping he can come out of it the other side – especially with the matches coming thick and fast.
Next up for United is a clash with Wolves on New Year’s Eve, a team who have caused them plenty of problems in recent years.
Antony will be hoping to start that contest, despite his flat showing on Tuesday night.
But whether he still has Ten Hag’s immediate trust, in the wake of another bad day at the office, remains to be seen.