- Red Devils splashed out on Brazilian forward
- Fellow countrymen went for less money
- United still looking for return on investment
WHAT HAPPENED? The Red Devils invested heavily in the Brazil international forward during the summer of 2022, with Erik ten Hag convincing his board to spend big on a player he previously worked with at Ajax. However, Antony has struggled to perform on a consistent basis in English football, and Brands believes that deals done by Arsenal and Barcelona for Gabriel Jesus and Raphinha prove that United overspent badly on a 23-year-old with much to prove.
WHAT THEY SAID: PSV director of football Brands has told BNR: “If you compare it with transfers that were realistic, such as that of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City to Arsenal: that was also around that rate (£45m). Those are normal amounts. I think everyone in football knows that Antony was a madness. I think Raphinha is an even better player than Antony, but he left for much less (£55m). Of course it was a financial issue. But on the other hand you also have to be realistic.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Jesus joined Arsenal for £45m ($55m), Barcelona lured Raphinha away from Leeds for £55m ($67m), while PSV were involved in a January deal that saw Liverpool acquire Cody Gakpo for £44m ($54m). Brands added on parting with the Netherlands international, and Chelsea new boy Noni Madueke: “If Liverpool come for Gakpo and promises have been made, you can't stop that. Madueke was not planned and not expected, but it came a lot of money on the table and it was Chelsea. That's when we made that choice.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? Antony has scored seven goals and registered one assist through 29 appearances for United, with more expected of him after joining the ranks of a side that has ambitions of challenging for the Premier League title.