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Erik ten Hag calls Antony “the missing link” after debut goal

Erik ten Hag calls Antony “the missing link” after debut goal

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag branded Antony “the missing link” after the Brazilian scored on his debut for the club against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.

The 22-year-old only joined the Red Devils on transfer deadline day, but he was handed a spot in the starting XI against the Gunners at Old Trafford.

Antony found the back of the net in the 35th minute of the match, expertly picking out the bottom corner after being found by Marcus Rashford inside the box.

Bukayo Saka levelled the scores on the hour, but Man United secured all three points courtesy of a double from Rashford, with the Red Devils running out 3-1 winners.

Antony was withdrawn in the 58th minute of the game, having not played since representing Ajax against FC Groningen in the Eredivisie on August 14.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag on August 7, 2022© Reuters

Ten Hag has said that the Brazil international “will be a threat in the Premier League”, with the summer arrival “the missing link” due to his preference of playing on the right wing.

“We can make speed and creativity together, he will be a threat in the Premier League. We were missing a player on the right wing, [Jadon] Sancho and Rashford can play there but they prefer the left so now we have the missing link who can play well on the right,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports News.

“He did well but I think he can do better, he had a great goal but all the goals were team goals.”

Ten Hag insisted that Man United must continue to ‘lift their standards’, with the club looking to challenge for a return to the top four in the Premier League this season.

“It’s a process – you have to lift the standards every day. That is my demand and the players in our team have that demand, we have many players in the team who have won trophies and they have to bring that standard. Get the best out of them every day,” said the Dutchman.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their second goal with Bruno Fernandes and teammates on September 4, 2022© Reuters

Man United have now won their last four Premier League matches, which has moved them into fifth position in the table, only three points behind leaders Arsenal.

The 20-time English champions will now switch their attention to Europe, preparing to take on Real Sociedad in the Europa League on Thursday night.

“We have to think about Europa League – today we will have a short celebration and tomorrow focus will be on the next game,” Ten Hag added after the contest.

Man United are next in Premier League action against Crystal Palace next Sunday, while they will also face Sheriff Tiraspol and Leeds United before the September international break.

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