Manchester United manager Erik ten Had has challenged Antony to deliver ‘end product’ more consistently following his matchwinning performance against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
Antony both scored and assisted in the 2-0 win at the City Ground that further solidified United’s status in the Premier League top four after weekend defeats for both Newcastle and Tottenham.
The Brazilian, who could cost United up to £85m by the time add-ons are triggered, scored the first goal by tapping in a rebound and then set up the second for Diogo Dalot to seal it later.
“The second was a great team goal, how we built that up, the way Antony did it to bring the pass in the right moment…and the movement from Diogo was fantastic, it was good to see,” Ten Hag said.
Antony has had a couple of spells of the team due to injury and illness in his first season with United, but has played in every game across all competitions for which he has been available and has started 17 of his 18 Premier League appearances to date.
The former Ajax star’s haul of eight goals and two assists is respectable but has massive room for improvement and that is what Ten Hag wans to see more of now.
“I defended him,” the United boss said. “He knows, I know as well, that when you’re a striker, you need an end product. But already he had quite a lot of end product, he scored in all competitions now. Eight goals in his first year United is not bad and there are still games to go.
“But he has to do it. I can’t say in every game, but in many games, if you want to be a top-class player and especially in all the competitions. He has to step up. Today was an example where, with both goals, he made the right decision.”