Andy Cole believes Antony is in danger of being axed by Erik ten Hag and has criticised Manchester United for paying over the odds for the winger.

Antony joined United in a €100 million (£85.6m) deal from Ajax last year but has failed to live up to his price tag during his time at Old Trafford.

The Brazil international has no goals or assists in 12 appearances for United this season and Cole has questioned why United are missing out on signing wingers such as Kaoru Mitoma, who joined Brighton from Kawasaki Frontale for just £2.7m in 2021.

‘If I played with Antony, it would drive me mad. As a centre-forward, if you’re playing with someone like Antony and he doesn’t get to the byline and put crosses in, then you’re going to be pulling your hair out,’ Cole told Betfred.

‘Strikers need crosses, especially Rasmus Hojlund who hasn’t scored in the Premier League yet.

When Antony cuts in on his left-foot, nine times out of ten he’s going to shoot.

The only chances Hojlund’s going to receive from Antony is if the opposition goalkeeper parries any of his shots from distance.

‘I sometimes have to ask myself what Antony’s strengths are? He doesn’t take players on, he doesn’t create chances and he doesn’t score goals. So what are his strengths?

‘We paid a massive amount of money for him. When you look at a club like Brighton who signed Mitoma for £2.7 million, then you have to ask what market are Manchester United shopping in when Brighton pays that for Mitoma and we end up paying £86 million for Antony? Are we not shopping in the same market?

‘It’s like Primark and Zara; you think by paying more to shop at Zara, the quality will be better, but it turns out to be the same as Primark, so you end up paying more for the same thing.

‘I look at the transfers we’ve made over the last 10 years and we’ve spent a hell of a lot of money on players that other clubs would have paid less for, so is it a case of Manchester United tax? We can’t continue doing that.

‘Antony’s had a really disappointing season. I understand he’s had things going on in the background, but that aside, playing football is ultimately what he does and I struggle to see what he has given the team so far.

‘If his form doesn’t improve throughout the season, you never know what will happen. It all depends on how much longer the manager wants to stick with him.’

 

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