The draw of Manchester United was, in the end, too much for Antony to resist as his move to Old Trafford was confirmed on Thursday.
Arriving for a fee €95m rising to €100m over time, there is considerable pressure on the Brazilian winger to deliver. Of course, Erik ten Hag will argue that he expects the same high level of performance from each of his players, regardless of price tag.
However, in private, even Ten Hag will allow himself to admit that he is hoping his Ajax prodigy produces when it counts. Plenty of fuss will be made of Antony,
not just for his transfer fee but for the manner of his exit from Amsterdam. His refusal to play angered Alfred Schreuder and probably forced Ajax’s hand this summer.
Should he not hit the ground running, complaints about his previous attitude in the Eredivisie could rear their head again.
Whether parallels should be made between his previous spell at Ajax and his new dawn at United is up for discussion, but what is not is that Ten Hag needs a new option out wide.
Currently at United the wings are inhabited by Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga.
With the exception of Sancho, who has shown it in brief glimpses, none of them possess the same flair as Antony when he’s on song.
There are a lot, Nani for example,” Antony told the club’s website when asked about former United players he admires. “There are a lot of other players.
“I hope to continue in this tradition of exciting the fans and pleasing the crowd with my football, not just dribbling and attacking play but if I need to put in a slide tackle, track back,
help with marking, there’ll be no shortage of desire. I hope to provide continuity here, we have to respect the weight and tradition of the shirt.”
If the Brazilian is able to emulate Nani in his style of play, Ten Hag will have another string to his bow. As much as Rashford and Sancho have improved in recent matches, they both still seem to be hesitant to take the ball forward and attack the full-backs.