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Erik ten Hag challenges Antony to improve in the final third

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has challenged €100 million man Antony to improve in the final third. He believes the attacker can score and assist more.

The Brazilian joined the Premier League club from Eredivisie champions Ajax this summer. Many knew he was not the finished product, but the output has been disappointing.

Antony has netted only thrice in 17 league appearances. He is yet to create a big chance or assist a goal in the league.

The 23-year-old has scored twice in the Europa League. He has also created three big chances. He has one goal in the EFL Cup.

Many have been disappointed by his returns, considering the big bucks Manchester United spent to sign him.

His manager, Erik ten Hag, championed the move and has challenged him to produce more goals and assists.

Ahead of their game against Sevilla, Ten Hag said (via the Daily Mail): “Of course we expect from the frontline players that they are not only a threat but also they have an effect in the final third, he has to work on that but he is a young player.

“You mention he is not scoring in the Premier League but he did against Betis, a really important goal just after half-time, and against Barcelona, the winner, so you can’t say they are not big games.

“If you can do it in such games, you can also do it in Premier League games but like with many more players, you have to step up and we have to step up as well and win games together.

“That is my experience with him, he is a fighter and he likes challenges and with him teams are winning.

“That is why he is in the Selecao [Brazil national team] and selected in the starting XI for the Selecao.

“He is a very young player, he can kill opponents. We saw on Saturday against Everton the manager brings another left-back on at half-time because he is killing the player.”

Antony has to show his club and manager what he is made of in the coming games, especially with Manchester United top scorer and talisman Marcus Rashford out for the next few games.

The 25-year-old will likely miss their upcoming fixtures against Sevilla (two legs), Nottingham Forest, Brighton & Hove Albion (FA Cup semi-final), and Tottenham Hotspur.

Antony is one of the players Ten Hag will expect to step up and provide the goals to win games.

He can mesmerise defenders with his dribbling, but he needs to contribute more in the final third.

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