Erik ten Hag, the Manchester United coach, stands by his attackers during a difficult period in the Premier League. With lead striker Marcus Rashford injured, much scrutiny has fallen on the fitness of Anthony Martial and the form of Antony dos Santos. However, ten Hag is confident Martial is ready to start again, having scored against Everton on Saturday. Despite an impressive season average of a goal every 117 minutes, Martial struggles with injuries and has not played a full 90-minute Premier League match since January 2021. Antony, on the other hand, has been substituted in 12 of the 16 matches he has started but has nonetheless shown flashes of brilliance in his £86m first season with United.
Ten Hag signed Antony from his former club Ajax and is cautious but optimistic about his continued development. His protege has scored four goal-of-the-month contenders already this season, including solitary strikes against Arsenal, Liverpool, and Barcelona. Nonetheless, some have criticized Antony’s predictability in cutting in to shoot and his lack of assists. Ten Hag counters that Antony is still a very young player at 23 years old, a fighter who can kill opponents and has been selected often in the starting lineup of Brazil’s national team. While there may be concerns about the effectiveness of the United forward line in Rashford’s absence, ten Hag remains confident in his attackers’ abilities.
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