Erik ten Hag claims 'missing link' Antony can become 'even more' of a 'threat' to other teams

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Erik ten Hag claims ‘missing link’ Antony can become ‘even more’ of a ‘threat’ to other teams in the Premier League after scoring the opening goal in Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Arsenal

  • Erik ten Hag believes Antony is the ‘missing link’ for his Manchester United team
  • Antony opened the scoring on his debut in a 3-1 win over high-flying Arsenal
  • And Ten Hag believes that his side will improve the longer the spend together 
  • He also dismissed any fears of an Arsenal comeback despite sustained pressure

Erik ten Hag hailed his most recent arrival Antony after his goalscoring debut at Old Trafford in Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Arsenal. 

The Dutchman described Antony as the ‘missing link’ for his United team after the Red Devils recorded their fourth successive win as their mini-revival continues. 

Antony arrived at the club on deadline day in an £85.5million from Ten Hag’s former club Ajax, and made an instant impact starting his first game in Sunday evening’s grudge match against the high-flying Gunners. 

£85.5million Antony scored in the first half of his Manchester United debut against Arsenal

£85.5million Antony scored in the first half of his Manchester United debut against Arsenal

Ten Hag said after the game: ‘I think we have all seen what a threat Antony is. His speed and creativity, I think, can be a real threat in the Premier League.

‘We missed a player on the right wing, because all the players who can play there, like Jadon Sancho, like Marcus Rashford, they prefer more the centre or the left side.

‘Now we have the one who can play really well over on the right wing. That was a missing link. Today, his first performance here, he did well but I think he can step up.

The Brazilian played under Erik ten Hag at Ajax and his manager believes he is the 'missing link'

The Brazilian played under Erik ten Hag at Ajax and his manager believes he is the ‘missing link’

‘I know him from Amsterdam and I know this is a different league, but there is potential and he will be even more of a threat to opponents than he was today.

‘But I would say, today already, it was a great goal.’

Ten Hag was understandably full of praise after his side's performance

Ten Hag was understandably full of praise after his side’s performance

Ten Hag’s side started the game brightly, but the visitors quickly asserted their authority, dominating possession and even having the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be ruled out for a dubious foul in the build up. 

And the Dutchman was quick to praise his side’s opening salvo, despite the fact that Arsenal looked the more likely side to win the game for much of the clash, as well as dismiss the idea of any nerves the Gunners would penetrate his defence. 

Ten Hag added: ‘I thought the first 10 minutes was the best we have played so far this season. But after the cancelled goal it wasn’t as good.

‘I know our defence can deal with [Arsenal’s threat] but they have a lot of creativity. We could’ve done things better but we are not as long together as Arsenal. When we get that in we will have better control of the game, that’s hard work, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Marcus Rashford was also on song as he bagged a pivotal brace in the Red Devils' victory

Marcus Rashford was also on song as he bagged a pivotal brace in the Red Devils’ victory

‘We had a good plan, we didn’t get it all on the pitch, we couldn’t control it when we should have. We got a set back and we fight back, that’s good to see. I like this mentality.

‘Arsenal played well but we defended well – I never had the feeling that they’d break us. They had a lot of movement and creativity but we defended as a team with all 11.

‘We can have better pressing and organisation, we can control the game more, we can be better in possession with better composure on the ball, then we will dictate the game even more. We haven’t been together long so we’ll work on it.

‘Both [Antony and Rashford] played great and were a continued threat. Our offence is strong and very creative. It is great to see.’

Antony's goal came just 35 minutes into his career at United with a well-struck finish

Antony’s goal came just 35 minutes into his career at United with a well-struck finish

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