By Daniel Feliciano

5th Sep, 2022 | 9:05pm

Scouting expert: £85m Antony is a huge risk for Manchester United

We’re delighted to welcome Football Manager’s Wolves researcher Dave Azzopardi as our exclusive columnist. Each week the scouting expert will be giving his views on the biggest talking points on Wonderkids across the UK…

Manchester United have taken a huge risk by signing Antony for £85m from Ajax this summer, according to scouting expert Dave Azzopardi.

The Reds completed a deal to bring the Brazilian to Old Trafford last week and he kicked off his Old Trafford career with a goal in the 3-1 win over Arsenal after being thrown straight into the starting lineup.

But despite his talent and good showing on his debut, Azzopardi believes it is still a big risk considering the fee and how bad United’s business has been in recent times although he admitted he was impressed by his performance.

“It’s obviously Erik Ten Hag has come and had his own targets in mind,” he told The Football Wonderkids.

“Three players from the Dutch league and they were adamant about wanting Antony. We saw two or three bids rejected and they finally got him.

“It sounds quite a steep transfer with the fee that has been reported. I thought against Arsenal he looked bright.

“There are a lot of players who on their debuts they want to play safe and make no mistakes but he wasn’t scared about expressing himself. We saw the tricks, we saw the flicks and obviously the goal to finish it off as well. It was a really nice finish.

“He liked to wind up Arsenal as well, saw a few Arsenal fans moaning about him at the end of the game. But he looks like a good player, a talented player.

“Manchester United and Ten Hag obviously think a lot about him because he got chucked straight into the starting eleven, but when you’re paying that much money for a player you want him playing as much as he can.

“They probably should have played it a bit safer [in the transfer window]. They’ve recruited in the right areas for the most part but it’s a huge risk. Especially with Manchester United’s business of late.

“We’ve seen them spend ridiculous amounts of money on players. Paul Pogba is the obvious one, signing him for so much and letting him go for free. There are a number of players still in that team where they maybe spent £50-60m on and would struggle to get £20-30m for.

“From the little I saw he does look like a talented player but it’s a huge risk for Manchester United. Lets hope it’s one that pays off for them because they’ve now got a good attacking lineup, with Ronaldo who can’t even get in the starting lineup.”

In other Manchester United news, here are two youngsters who should leave the club in January