Antony’s skills can send Arsenal into a tailspin

Adrian Clarke takes a look at the key tactical points and players that can be decisive in Matchweek 6.

Anthony (MUN)

Manchester United’s new signing Antony is a wide left-footed man who will improve Erik ten Hag’s attacking firepower.

The 22-year-old has averaged a goal every 206 minutes for Ajax over the past two Eredivisie campaigns, while also producing a total of 12 assists.

His stock rose dramatically during the UEFA Champions League last season.

In the competition, the Brazilian has had six direct goals in seven appearances (two goals and four assists).

Should he play at Old Trafford on Sunday, Antony will be looking to make an impression by cutting in from the right against league leaders Arsenal.

Antony’s UCL 2021/22 stats
Average per 90 Rank
Blows 4.1 9th
Aids 0.6 9th

Antony’s main weapon is a left foot that can produce game-changing moments, and he’s not afraid to try his luck with shots from range.

Reminiscent of Arjen Robben and Riyad Mahrez, the gifted Brazilian is at his best when traveling inside the right channel with the ball at his feet.

Seven of his 12 goals last season were almost carbon copies of each other.

His trademark is cutting inside before curling accurate left-footed shots into the far corner.

Five of those seven shots were fired from outside the penalty area.

Goals and assists in all competitions
2021/22 left foot Total
Goals 12 12
Aids 8 9
Goal distance Total
0-6 meters 0
7-18 yards seven
18+ yards 5

Ten Hag will use Antony as an inverted right winger, and if he sees a game against the Gunners it will be up to Kieran Tierney and left centre-back Gabriel to block his shooting opportunities.

Antony has excellent balance, regularly using body feints to beat his marker and create space.

If the visiting defenders stay away from him or get fooled by one of Antony’s tricks, they could be in trouble.

A nightmare for defenses

The winger has enough pace to run behind but is at his best with the ball at his feet.

According to Fbref, on those dribbles, he averaged 11.6 progressive balls every 90 minutes over the past 12 months.

The Brazil international will roll crosses into the opposition box as often as possible.

This could be good news for Cristiano Ronaldo, who loves attacking aerial balls aimed in his direction.

He’s still a bit raw and may need time to adjust to the level, but Antony’s left foot is undeniably brilliant.

If he doesn’t use it to provide regular assists and goals, it will be a big surprise.