‘He’s not pulling up trees…’ Ian Wright defends Man Utd flop; makes Darwin Nunez comparison

Arsenal legend Ian Wright

Arsenal legend Ian Wright

Former Premier League striker Ian Wright has defended Manchester United winger Antony after he has failed to live up to his hefty price tag this season.

Wright used Darwin Nunez as another example of a player who has struggled to acclimatise to the Premier League. But, he has backed both to find their feet.

Man Utd paid roughly £80.75m for Antony last summer, so the Old Trafford faithful expected big things from him this season.

However, so far, he has scored just four goals in 23 Premier League appearances, as well as making two assists.

Antony’s failure to make a big impression for Man Utd has led to him receiving criticism. For example, Gabby Agbonlahor called him ‘a bit of an idiot’ on Monday.

Nunez, on the other hand, has netted only nine goals in 29 league outings so far. He cost Liverpool £85m, so he is indeed in a similar situation at Liverpool.

But, Antony and Nunez are still relatively young, both aged 23, so have plenty of time to improve their game.

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Wright: Pressure ‘comes with the price tag’

Speaking after Man Utd’s 2-0 victory against Wolves on Saturday, Wright criticised Antony’s performance. However, he blames some of his poor form on the pressure that comes with his huge price tag.

“I have got a lot of time for him. I think he is the same as Darwin Nunez,” Wright said on Match of The Day, as cited by the Liverpool Echo.

“It comes with the price tag, people expect so much from these players, we know they have ability but it’s their first year. When you look at what this guy can do, you have to give him some time.

“He gets himself on the back post here and he should do better (with the header) but you think with time he will do better. It’s an easy chance for him to take.

“This was an easy decision for him (assist), he gives it to Anthony Martial for a tap-in. He finds space and when you look at what he can offer, pace and skill, the way he skins players.

“Once he gets into the final third, you want the composure and calmness. He wants to have a shot and as time goes by, he won’t waste these kinds of runs.

“As time goes by, those decisions will come. He’s not pulling up trees but it will come.”

Now, Antony’s focus will be on helping Man Utd secure Champions League qualification. But next season, Red Devil’s fans will no doubt be expecting better performances from the Brazilian.

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