Antony has vowed he’ll change for no one after one particular element of his playing style was lambasted by Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.
The Brazilian winger, 22, arrived from Ajax this summer in a deal that could hit £86m pending add-ons. Antony was manager Erik ten Hag’s primary target in the forward ranks and wasted little time making an immediate impact on his debut.
Indeed, Antony scored the opener against Arsenal last Sunday and helped put Manchester United on course for a 3-1 victory.
While he received praise for his clinical low finish, the assessments on his debut weren’t all entirely positive.
Sky Sports pundits, Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, took a dim view of Antony’s showboating.
One passage of play saw Antony face up Oleksandr Zinchenko down the right wing. Antony brought out his full repertoire of flicks and tricks, though failed to take the ball past the Ukrainian.
In fact, Antony never actually attempted to go past Zinchenko, instead opting to harmlessly pass back inside after his dancing feet produced no end product.
The Old Trafford crowd certainly loved the showboating, though Neville and Carragher took the opposite view.
Via the Daily Mail, Carragher claimed he would’ve ‘put Antony in the stand’ if faced with that kind of showboating when he played.
Neville’s assessment was similar, describing the skills as ‘pointless’ and claiming he’d have ‘whacked’ Antony as a result.
Now, speaking to Man Utd’s official website, Antony has explained his penchant for the dramatic.
He claimed skills and tricks have always been a key part of his game and he’s in no mood to abandon them any time soon.
“I’ve always done this,” he said. “Not just here but for all the teams I’ve played for.
“I’ve been doing it ever since I was a child. I’ve always done it – it’s one of my characteristics.
“I am adapting and getting used to things here already. Entertaining is something I’ve always liked and I’ll continue doing it.”
While it’s admirable Antony refuses to change his game for anyone, the last thing United need is him being targeted by opposition defenders.
If Neville and Carragher are united in their thinking over how they’d react to Antony’s antics, it stands to reason current Premier League defenders may hold the same view too.
Antony learning from Cristiano Ronaldo
The winger was also asked about the attacking talent he is now a part of at Old Trafford.
He described the current crop of forwards as “immense” and detailed the impact club icon Ronaldo is already having on his game.
“I’ve come to help my team-mates,” added Antony. “Regardless of age, there’s immense talent in all the players.
“Words can’t describe Cristiano, the best in the world. In just a few days, I’ve learnt a lot from him. He has an extraordinary mind and, whenever I talk to him, I take a lot from it.
“I’m sure that we have a strong attack and it’s very promising for the future.”