Former Chelsea advisor reveals Antony transfer failure and warns of Man Utd man’s mean streak

Antony, Man Utd v Real Sociedad, September 2022

Former Chelsea advisor Piet de Visser has revealed how the Blues tried and failed to sign Manchester United new boy Antony a few years ago.

The Red Devils paid £84million to Ajax to snap up the exciting Brazilian from the Dutch club this summer. And he has made an instant impact at Old Trafford, scoring on his Premier League debut against Arsenal.

Antony was the top attacking transfer target for Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag.

The pair worked together at Ajax, where Ten Hag promoted the winger and brought out his best talents.

However, Antony’s blossoming career could have been panning out differently had he gone to Chelsea. Indeed, the Blues made an attempt to sign the attacker under the guidance of De Visser.

The 87-year-old former Stamford Bridge advisor told Voetbal Nieuws‘ ‘The King of Manchester’ podcast: “Together with Hans van der Zee [former Ajax head scout] we saw him for the first time at Brazil’s youth ranks and we were both charmed by him.

“That was a few years ago, just before he went to Ajax.”

De Visser added that Antony has a mean streak but admitted that his upbringing in Brazil has made him that way.

“I thought he had to make an intermediate step and then Hans suggested Ajax,” the Dutchman said.

“And then we would take him right from Ajax.

“We couldn’t get him, I would have wanted him. He’s a boy with poison in his backside. He sometimes crosses the line, but he comes from the favela, doesn’t he?”

Antony has yet to add to his Man Utd goal tally, but he has impressed in his early performances.

In fact, one pundit recently pointed to his defensive work as a sign he is trying his best to fit into Ten Hag’s plans.

Antony progressing at Man Utd

Man Utd needed to get a new goalscorer in this summer and their Glazer family owners have spent big to back Ten Hag.

The Antony signing is a statement for both the club and the Premier League, as United look to return to the top four.

Before his arrival, Cristiano Ronaldo stood out as the goalscorer in the team. His 24 goals in 38 games last term won Man Utd points and made him the main man.

But, in looking to create a long-term project at Old Trafford, Ten Hag looked past the 37-year-old Portugal star.

Nevertheless, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho had indifferent seasons in 2021/22, suffering spells of poor form.

What’s more, Anthony Martial spent the second half of the season out on loan at Sevilla.

The Antony signing has not only added another dimension to United’s attack, but also pushed Rashford and Sancho on.

The competition is healthy and is – as Ten Hag hoped – it looks like it is driving up performance levels. Antony just needs to continue as he is and hope he can score more goals.

After he came off during last week’s Europa League defeat to Real Sociedad, he will be looking to prove himself against Sheriff Tiraspol.