Manchester United have now signed two of Erik ten Hag’s players from Ajax, Lissandro Martinez and Antony, with the manager having a big influence on them wanting to join the club.
Antony, who was brought to Ajax by Ten Hag in 2020, has reflected on the impact the manager had on him in Amsterdam.
When I arrived, I started settling in and getting to know people. Erik got to know me and knows what I’m like. He knows what my daily work is like, how I train, how I give 100 per cent in games and this trust grew and developed. His confidence in me grew as he got to know me better and I’m really happy and grateful to see his confidence in my game from my time at Ajax. He knew what type of person I was, my work ethic. I’m really grateful and Erik has all my respect and affection and it will be a privilege and an honour to be working with him again.
What stands out about him for me is his intelligence. His tactical knowledge, game strategy, attacking play and pressing game that I know very well after working with him for two years. With Erik’s style, I was always watching Manchester United from home and I could see this style and see myself here working with him again. What really stands out about Erik is his intelligence.
Antony becomes the second most expensive player in United’s history, with Ten Hag insisting the club did whatever it took to bring the Brazilian to Manchester. Antony discussed what it meant to him to have the manager fight so hard to bring him to Old Trafford.
Really, really, really grateful and happy. I embraced him just now and thanked him in person for believing in my signing. I was really excited and looking forward to coming here and putting on this shirt. I’m grateful for the faith and confidence from Erik, not just Erik but all the directors here at Manchester United. I feel really grateful and happy and rest assured I will repay this faith on the pitch by giving 100 per cent.
Of all the great players who have represented United in the past, Antony singled out Nani as someone he was a big fan of.
There are a lot, Nani for example. 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.
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