Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Ajax winger Antony, according to reports. This season, the dynamic forward has been one of the Dutch champions’ standout attackers
With Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial poised to leave the club, United will be looking for at least one new forward this summer. Manchester United’s appointment of coach Erik ten Hag may give them a significant advantage in the race to sign Antony. But competition is expected to be fierce, with Liverpool and Newcastle also interested.
If United are unable to sign the 22-year-old, it would be prudent for them to compile a list of similar candidates. While United authorities will use their complicated recruitment procedure to accomplish this, Mirror Football have used Fbref’s impressive player comparison tool to determine the players that statistically most closely resemble Antony.
Surprisingly, according to the statistics experts, the most similar player to Antony is Bayern Munich’s dynamic attacker, Serge Gnabry.
The 26-year-old has been the focus of conjecture for months, following claims in February that he was undecided about renewing his contract with the Bundesliga winners.
Watch few of Antony’s highlights:
The attacker is said to feel undervalued at the club compared to other players in his age group, and he wants to move somewhere where he would be given more of a spotlight.
In response, the club has given him a better take-it-or-leave-it contract, but he appears unlikely to sign it at the moment, meaning the German international might go this summer for a nominal amount, or the club could lose him for nothing in the coming year.
United should take advantage of this position, as the former Arsenal man might have a huge impact on United’s attack next season under Ten Hag.
Gnabry has Premier League experience, albeit he never quite lived up to his full potential at Arsenal, where he began his career. He began his career after joining Werder Bremen in 2016, where he excelled and scored 11 Bundesliga goals.
Bayern swooped in a year later, loaning him to Hoffenheim for a season before upgrading him to a vital member of their squad for the 2018/19 season.
In only 171 games for the Bavarians, the 26-year-old has a phenomenal 104 goals. He’s established himself as a deadly and flexible attacker, capable of playing a variety of roles.
His lightning speed and skill, which are both enhanced by his ability to utilize both feet proficiently, allow him to accomplish this. If he’s on the left, he’ll usually drive at a defense before cutting in onto his more natural right foot and shooting at goal, whereas on the right, he’ll be more concerned with turning provider for his teammates.
Gnabry’s goal total is impressive on its own, but comparing it to his xG over the course of his career in Germany reveals just how precise a finisher he is. Gnabry has 67 goals in the Bundesliga in his six years there. His xG at the moment, according to Wyscout, was only 49.26.
This practically indicates he’s scored 17 more goals than would be expected based on the quality of shooting opportunities he’s had. His ability to finish could be a significant factor for his desire to play in more central situations, something he feels he hasn’t had enough of at Bayern.
United may provide him with this opportunity, and his versatility to play a variety of attacking roles might be extremely useful to them throughout the next season. The Red Devils would benefit greatly from this move.