Home » Jaap Stam says struggling Man United star Antony is “not good enough for this level”

Jaap Stam says struggling Man United star Antony is “not good enough for this level”

by Derick Kinoti

Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam has slammed Antony and the fee the club paid Ajax for the winger.

In the summer of 2022, Erik ten Hag sanctioned an £82m move for Antony after he was appointed United boss. In his maiden season in England, Antony scored eight goals.

This season, however, the Brazilian has struggled and is yet to register a goal or an assist in the 17 appearances he has made across all competitions.

As United were dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich on Thursday, Antony was easily one of his side’s poorer performers.

Stam spoke on Gary Neville’s Stick to Football podcast and relayed his doubts about Antony ever justifying the money forked out for his services.

The ex-defender said, “From what I’ve seen from Antony, he’s not good enough for this level that we’re looking for at United. Because you’re also looking for a player who can have a difficult time and struggle when he comes in, but [we can see] where he is making progress to get to that level.”

“When you’re looking at Antony now, at this moment, you don’t see where he can make the progress to make the next step in the Premier League to be up there with the top wingers who can make a difference.”

Stam added, “In Holland, he did okay but it wasn’t like he was the best player in Holland. He did okay for Ajax but then again, they’re playing in a league with a couple of good players, and the rest of the league – with all respect – are mediocre players. They’re [Ajax] always dominating so he could always do his trickery, put the crosses in and play a one-two.”

“But at this level – and that’s down to recruitment together with the management – they need to make the right choices to bring the players in who can really make a difference in the Premier League. I was surprised by Antony’s fee.”

Stam pointed out that Antony is not the only average player currently at United.

He insisted that the same problem runs right across the board and it’s hard to find any stars playing for the club that have it within them to make it at the very highest level.

The 1999 treble winner also relayed fears that Ten Hag is facing an uphill battle to keep his job at Old Trafford.

Stam warned that the manager’s constantly falling out with players and publicly fighting with the media makes it difficult to succeed at Old Trafford.

The 51-year-old told the Stick to Football podcast, “He [Ten Hag] has got to be worried and thinking about what’s going to happen now. You can ban players, but it’s also about man management of course and how to work with and handle players. There was the Ronaldo thing, the Sancho thing, Varane probably – I don’t know if something’s happened over there.”

“There’s the thing with the press now and banning journalists from press conferences. It doesn’t work in your favour as a manager. You need to have peace and quiet… you don’t want to pay too much attention to other things like players and the press.”

Stam expressed his dismay with the fact that Ten Hag has so far been unable to implement a style of play at United despite spending up to £400m on new signings.

He admitted that he was left surprised when the Red Devils boss divulged to the media that he cannot replicate Ajax’s brand of football at the Theatre of Dreams.

Stam reiterated that Ten Hag has brought in the wrong players and this is the major factor inhibiting him from making progress at United.

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