22-year-old striker Antony Ajax confirmed a now iconic agreement with his new team at Man United where he will join Casemiro and Fred. He will now be called Antony ManU. Let’s take a look at his career trajectory.
Antony Ajax Recruitment At 20 Years Old To Man UTD at 22 Years Old
The Brazilian is a sensation in Man United:
Antony Matheus Dos Santos is the full name of the Brazilian, Manchester United’s new star signing. They were waiting for him at the club and the attacker wanted to leave Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax as soon as possible to put on the red colors. The talented 22-year-old midfielder joined the team of his former (and now again) coach Erik Ten Hag, former Ajax strategist where the South American was a star, in addition to other Eredivisie figures such as Tyrell Malacia (Feyenoord) and the Argentine Lisandro Martínez, ex Godenzonen.
How he was discovered:
Growing up, he would play football wherever he could on the streets or in his house, combining his love of futsal with street football and he was soon spotted by São Paulo who offered him a contract in 2010, aged 10. Soon with the team, he made his debut on November 15, 2018 against Grêmio de Porto Alegre, playing 20 minutes. His good performances gave him more minutes and games, also participated in the Copa Libertadores in 2020. In total he played 37 games, scoring four goals and giving six assists. From there, he took a plane to the Netherlands.
A star player at Ajax:
The Dutch team paid just over $15 million for his services, having an immediate effect. Unbalanced and left footed, he was part of a great offense alongside Steven Berghuis, Dušan Tadić and Sébastien Haller (now at Borussia Dortmund). In his first year he did not do badly: nine goals and eight assists in the league, plus another in the Champions League, where they did not get past the group stage.
Even so, at the local level they achieved the Eredivisie and the Cup. However, 21-22 was their great leap to the elite. He was fundamental in his club’s great performance in the Champions League, where they culminated with a perfect 6-0 record in the group stage, thrashing Sporting Club de Lisboa, Dortmund and Besiktas, with a goal average of 20-5, being Antony the author of two goals and the assist of another four.
His record was the second best in the entire competition, only behind Bayern Munich who added 18 points with 22-3 goals. Unfortunately for them, Benfica crossed their path and with the Uruguayan Darwin Núñez at the forefront, they were eliminated in the round of 16 on aggregate 3-2.
As for the domestic championship, Ajax only lost three games throughout the year and was two goals away from reaching a hundred. Antony added 8 of them, plus 4 assists.
Antony Ajax or United?
Antony’s current contract with Ajax is until 2025, but the player himself has notified the board of his intention to leave, even more so when Manchester United has placed almost $ 100 million on the table in Amsterdam.
He will also fit well with Man United because like any good Brazilian attacking midfielder, dribbling, and change of pace are his main characteristics. He can play on both flanks without any problems, even though he is a natural left-footer, and he likes to hook into the middle to seek to connect with his teammates or to finish off more clearly. In addition, he would be a great partner for Bruno Fernandes in the midfield, who is the one who weaves the Red Devils’ attack with both the wingers, such as the center forward, Marcus Rashford, preferred by the coach, over Cristiano Ronaldo.
Antony Ajax transfer was the 2nd most expensive in Man UTD history:
With the 95 million euros that Man United paid for Antony, the winger became the second most expensive player in the club’s history, only surpassed by Paul Pogba. The ‘Red Devils’ paid 105 million euros for the Frenchman. The fans eagerly await his arrival and demonstrate his ability to lend a hand to the team that is not going through a good football moment.
For the ‘Red Devils’, Antony’s arrival is not the only one. United spent more than 235 million euros in this transfer market, and they are aiming high.
Antony made a name for himself in European football:
With European football it was love at first sight. As soon as he put on the Ajax shirt, he showed his best level.
In two seasons in the Eredivisie, Antony made 82 appearances, scoring 24 goals and winning three titles: a Dutch Cup and two Dutch championships. In between, he made a place for himself in the Brazilian National Team, and even added minutes in the last game against Argentina, where despite having just turned 21 years old, he had no problem crossing paths with Acuña and Lo Celso.
And if the Brazilian does not lack something, it is attitude. On more than one occasion he was targeted for being too lyrical, but this is also one of the main characteristics of his game. In addition, he stands out for his change of pace, his explosiveness, and his ability to play both through the center and close to the line.
The key role of his brother:
Antony was practically born with the ball glued to his foot Like many Brazilians. At just four years old, he started in football thanks to his brother, and in an interview Antony said: “I come from a quiet and humble family in São Paulo. My brother taught me a lot from an early age, he took me to play for youth teams. He helped me and taught me everything.”
“He inspires me. My brother is always by my side as my passion for football has only grown. I took my dream of becoming a professional footballer very seriously, I share this dream with him, and now I am making that dream come true”, said the striker, when he had just set foot in Europe.
There he also spoke in depth about his beginnings in federated football. In more than one childhood photo of him, his fanaticism for San Pablo, his city club, is clear. But his beginnings began at the Osasco Sports Guild. At the neighborhood club, the 10 year old broke everything, and at the age of 10, got the opportunity to play on his dream team.
In 2010 he arrived at Morumbi, and eight years later he fulfilled his dream of debuting in the First Division but his big break came in 2021, when he was part of the Tokyo Olympics champion team. There, the striker was a starter in all the matches of the Brazilian team, and even had the luxury of assisting Malcolm in the goal that decided the final in favor of his team.
The 3 most important “L”s in his life:
On November 8, 2019, Lorenzo who is Man United’s new recruit Antony’s first child with Rosilene, his lifelong girlfriend was born.
From that moment on, most of his goals are accompanied by a dance in which the striker forms a letter ‘L’ with his hands, explaining:
“The letter is for Lorenzo…that’s my son’s name. Also, it also represents Larissa, a girl I’ve been mentoring for a long time. And finally Lenny, my wife’s nickname. The celebration is dedicated to those 3 people”.
Antony and Larissa’s sweet relationship:
Larissa is a 10-year-old girl, who was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, and in 2019 she fulfilled the dream of meeting her hero De Ella. It all started with an action by the San Pablo campus, mobilized by Antony himself. In the year of its explosion, the team was runner-up in the Paulista Championship. Upon their return, they all shaved their heads in a gesture of support for Larissa.
A year later, the striker undertook the trip to the Netherlands, but he did not forget what he had built in Brazil. By 2020, Larissa had lost more than 70 percent of his vision due to the disease. For this reason, Larrisa could not read a letter that arrived from the Dutch lands of Ajax. But when her mother read the letter, none of them could believe it: Antony invited them to see his debut at Ajax.
And for Antony it was an unbeatable debut: with the presence of Larissa in the stands, Ajax thrashed 3-0. After the match, the footballer left a nice phrase about his relationship with the native of São Paulo: “Larissa teaches me how to live. I learned to appreciate life”.