Man United: Ajax star could be Antony’s upgrade, Erik ten Hag explains why he needs such a player

Man United: Ajax star could be Antony’s upgrade, Erik ten Hag explains why he needs such a player

Manchester United’s progression under Erik ten Hag has been undeniably remarkable, with the Dutchman leading his team to Carabao Cup glory and securing Champions League qualification with a third-place finish.

This success, which could be added to in Saturday’s FA Cup final, has been achieved despite the deficiencies of the Red Devils’ forward line, with Marcus Rashford, the team’s emerging talisman, having scored 30 goals in all competitions so far – 17 more than any of his teammates.

Jadon Sancho and Antony, a summer signing, have failed to provide a consistent threat on the flanks, scoring just seven and eight goals, respectively, across all competitions to date.

These deficiencies have prompted the search for a new forward addition ahead of the upcoming season, with United believed to have identified a number of potential candidates to lead the attack.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Ten Hag is rumored to admire Ajax sensation Mohammed Kudus, who previously played for the 53-year-old in Amsterdam. Kudus is a versatile player who can play on the flanks or in a central position as needed.

According to The Athletic, the 22-year-old Ghanaian phenom is valued at roughly £40 million and is expected to leave the Johan Cruyff Arena this summer, with a possibility that he could reunite with Ten Hag in Manchester.

Should United Manchester sign Kudus?
While the former Nordsjaelland player could be a solution to United’s center-forward issues, the versatile ace could also be an upgrade over the club’s current options on the flanks, providing strong competition to the previously mentioned Antony on the right wing.

Kudus, a fellow left-footer like his former colleague, has garnered attention after an outstanding season in the Netherlands despite Ajax’s collective struggles, having scored 18 goals and dished out six assists in 42 games across all competitions.

The 5 foot 9 sprinter has contributed to six goals in just six Champions League appearances, demonstrating his ability to make a difference at the highest level.

While Man United’s Brazilian playmaker assisted on six goals in seven Champions League appearances for Ajax in 2021/22, Dutch legend Marco van Basten has previously stated that Kudus is “much better than Antony,” describing the 23-cap international as “smarter and more technically adept” than his former teammate.

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Kudus has averaged 4.57 successful take-ons per ninety minutes over the last 365 days, while Antony has averaged just 1.57 over the same time frame, according to FBref. Van Basten has also called Kudus “more entertaining to watch.”

Kudus could very well follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and endure a difficult transition to life in England, but Van Basten’s claims and the Ghanaian’s statistical prowess suggest that Kudus is an upgrade over the £200,000-per-week enigma.

Man United: Ajax star could be Antony’s upgrade, Erik ten Hag explains why he needs such a player