Man United may have found their new Nani in “frustrating” £200k-p/w “difference-maker”

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Manchester United’s recent win over relegation rivals Everton saw summer signing Antony produce an encouraging performance at Old Trafford, with the Brazil international being a constant threat down the right flank on the day.

According to club legend Paul Scholes, the former Ajax man was simply “tormenting” Toffees defender Ben Godfrey after repeatedly getting in behind.

Despite that lively performance, the 23-year-old can still be “frustrating,” in the words of talkSPORT pundit Gabby Agbonlahor, having notably spurned a handful of chances against the Merseysiders after firing straight at an impressive Jordan Pickford.

That inability to make United’s dominance count was possibly a factor in the wide man’s withdrawal on the 60-minute mark, with more seemingly needed from a player who has scored just three Premier League goals this season.

Antony, on the other hand, is a player with a flair for the spectacular, as evidenced by his four Goal of the Month awards this season, and fans will have to accept that the mercurial talent may be one who shines in flashes rather than on a consistent basis.

The former Sao Paolo man appears to be a figure who can both change a game in an instant and leave both fans and teammates scratching their heads, ensuring that he can follow in the footsteps of another previously infuriating, yet magical United man – Nani.

How good was Nani at Manchester United?
The Athletic’s Carl Anka previously noted the similarities between the pair, stating that “Manchester United haven’t had a player like Antony since Nani” upon the Brazilian’s arrival at the club.

As Anka stated at the time, Antony is a player who “can look like a world-beater one day, but will need to work on consistency,” hence the obvious comparisons to that man Nani, with the former Red Devils man also having that ability to blow hot and cold.

Rio Ferdinand, the Portuguese’s ex-teammate, revealed that the winger was a “ridiculous player” who would do things in training that “would blow your mind,” albeit while remaining deeply “frustrating” due to his “inconsistency with his end product.”

Nani, like Antony, has already scored impressive goals against Barcelona and Manchester City this season. He joined Manchester City from Sporting Lisbon in 2007.

The now-veteran, who currently plays for A-League side Melbourne Victory, was capable of true moments of genius, whether it was his delightful, delicate dink away at Arsenal in 2010, or his thumping effort at home to Tottenham Hotspur a few years earlier.

Ferdinand described him as a “proper player,” and the 36-year-old eventually left United in 2015 after scoring 41 goals and providing 71 assists in 230 games across all fronts, helping the club win a slew of major trophies during that time.

While, as Ferdinand alluded to, the 112-cap ace may not have been a truly reliable asset throughout his eight-year stay at the Theatre of Dreams, the 5 foot 10 genius is still fondly remembered for those standout moments of magic that he was able to produce on his day.

Both Erik ten Hag and Red Devils fans may have to get used to Antony’s inconsistency in the coming years, though, like Nani, the £200k-per-week man could be a “difference maker” at times for the club, according to writer Muhammad Butt.

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