Neville tells Antony he has "a lot to do" with message after Pogba comparison

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Antony has struggled to live up to expectations since joining Manchester United in the summer (Image: Malcolm Couzens/Getty)
Antony has struggled to live up to expectations since joining Manchester United in the summer (Image: Malcolm Couzens/Getty)

Gary Neville has insisted Antony has to do more in order to justify his mammoth price tag in the wake of the Brazilian's underwhelming start to life at Manchester United.

United went all out to acquire Antony after Erik ten Hag made the 22-year-old one of his top summer transfer targets and eventually struck a deal that could rise to £86million.

But after thriving under Ten Hag at Ajax, where he notched 10 goals and 12 assists in 32 games last term, Antony has struggled to live up to expectations at Old Trafford. The winger has plundered five goals in 17 games but has failed to stand out in a team that has been revitalised by Ten Hag.

It has previously been suggested that Antony is being weighed down by his whopping price tag: only Paul Pogba (£89m) has commanded a greater fee than the Ajax man.

Neville knows a thing or two about what it takes to succeed at Old Trafford and has said that Antony needs to do a lot more. However, he dismissed comparisons between Antony and Pogba - insisting that the Frenchman was a known commodity before he became United's club-record signing back in 2016.

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After initially tweeting about Chelsea's interest in Enzo Fernandez, who is likely to cost in excess of £100m, a fan retorted to Neville claiming that he didn't have any concerns about the inflated fees United paid for Antony and Pogba.

Neville responded by tweeting: "Agree with Anthony (he’s a lot to do to get to 95m price tag). [Paul] Pogba had pedigree when he signed for United so not comparable."

Join the debate! What have you made of Antony so far? Let us know here.

Antony made a promising start to his United career by netting a debut goal in an impressive 3-1 win over Arsenal. The youngster followed that up by scoring in successive matches against Manchester City and Everton but his form and influence have significantly waned since the start of October.

Former England and Manchester City defender Stuart Pearce levelled some brutal criticism at Antony in the wake of United's 1-0 win over Wolves at the weekend. He was unimpressed with Antony's work ethic and admitted that the winger 'irritated' him.

“Antony has got no intention of tracking back, Wolves can get a lot of joy down that side,” Pearce told talkSPORT while commentating for the game. In another snippet, he said: “Antony has failed to make an impact – he’s given away the ball on far too many occasions.”

Speaking at half-time, Pearce continued: “He irritates the life out of me. Every time he gets the ball he points to his teammates and tells them what they should do. I saw recently that Ten Hag and [Bruno] Fernandes said he would be a really good player if he listened. He's certainly doing more talking than listening right now."

Dan Marsh

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation