Rio Ferdinand has criticised Antony’s display in Manchester United’s 3-2 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday and claims he is ‘concerned’ by his inability to go past players.
United took an early lead at the Emirates through Rashford but were pegged back by goals from Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka with Arsenal wingers, in contrast to Antony, causing big havoc down the flanks.
Lisandro Martinez headed the Red Devils level midway through the second half but Arsenal lay siege to the visitors’ goal in the closing stages and eventually found a winner through Nketiah.
Antony offered little for United and was kept very quiet by Oleksandr Zinchenko, with Ferdinand increasingly concerned by his lack of explosiveness & ability in one-v-one situations.
Speaking on his FIVE YouTube show, 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!”
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‘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”.
‘You want a winger to be going past full-backs without any hesitation at all and with Antony, as much quality as he has on the ball and his technique and stuff like that, [he doesn’t get past players].
‘When I played with Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Antonio Valencia, even Ji-Sung Park would get past the full-back. Not just by going past them but he’d play it and run and get the other side of them.
‘I want to see that from Antony. Listen, its his first season so you’re going to have to give him a bit of time, doesn’t matter how big the price tag is, but I need to see more glimpses of that.’