Marcel Brands, who is PSV Eindhoven’s and formerly Everton’s director of football, has suggested that Manchester United paid over the odds to sign Antony from Ajax during the previous summer transfer window.
The Red Devils spent £86m to sign the Brazilian as one of Erik ten Hag’s first signings for the club.
With a large chunk of the season now gone since then, this deal has been brought into the spotlight once again by one figure who has his fair share of experience when it comes to buying and selling players in the Premier League.
Speaking to BNR, as relayed by Voetbal Primeur (via Sport Witness), Brands had this to say on the matter when discussing the topic of Cody Gakpo’s January move to Liverpool from PSV.
He said: “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. Those are normal amounts. I think everyone in football knows that Antony was a madness.
“I think Raphinha (Leeds United to Barcelona) is an even better player than Antony, but he left for much less.”
To give some perspective into some of the deals Brands spoke about, Gakpo joined Liverpool for £35m, Jesus went to Arsenal for £45m and Raphinha made his move to Barcelona for £55m.
Since arriving at United, the winger has made 28 appearances for Ten Hag’s side across all competitions prior to Sunday’s Premier League match against Southampton, scoring seven goals and providing one assist.
Do you think Man United overpaid for Antony?
While perhaps it could be said that United spent a significant amount of money on the 23-year-old, it wouldn’t be fair to judge his time at the club before he’s finished his first season.
Also, having played under Ten Hag at Ajax, the United boss will have surely known what he was getting when presumably giving the green light for the club to launch their move for him.
Moving forward, if the attacker ends up staying at Old Trafford for a considerable amount of time and goes on to score lots of goals and potentially win some trophies, this should dismiss any criticism about the price United paid for him.