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Bert van Marwijk says Man Utd should have signed Cody Gakpo over Antony

Former Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk believes Cody Gakpo would have been a better signing for Manchester United when compared to Antony.

The Red Devils have agreed a package of €100 million to sign the Brazil international from Ajax, and he could make his debut against either Leicester City or Arsenal.

It is certainly a huge outlay for an emerging star, but the hierarchy decided to meet the demands as he had been the prime attacking target for Erik ten Hag.

United fans will be excited to watch what Antony can offer, but Van Marwijk has his doubts over the Brazilian, who has yet to score 10 league goals in a single season.

The Dutch tactician added that Antony has the creative ability, but questioned whether the 22-year-old can cope with the physical demands of the Premier League.

He wrote on De Telegraaf: “Ajax did well to take 100million euros from Manchester United anyway.”

“It is the absolute top price and that amount the club would never have received in the future for Antony. I have heard the criticism that Antony was never able to score 10 goals in a season at Ajax.

“But he is not a scoring player – and he will not score much in England.

“But he can make the difference because he has the ability to create things and can always give an assist. He looks spectacular with his actions, but is also really decisive.

“What I’m curious about is whether he can handle the physical resistance in the Premier League. We will find out soon.”

The 70-year-old went on to suggest that Cody Gakpo would have been the better fit for United as he is an ideal team player and is ‘more physically capable’ than Antony.

He added: “Cody Gakpo is more physically capable than Antony. He also has the ability to work himself to death for the team. Many creative players are lazy players by nature.”

“But Gakpo is less spectacular than Antony – and therefore Antony’s market value is higher.

“However, Gakpo will always be an ideal team player. Therefore, you can ask who would have the most value for Manchester United at the moment?”

Antony perfectly fits into Ten Hag’s plans at Man Utd

Gakpo is undoubtedly a gifted footballer, but United’s decision to sign Antony is justified by the fact that they were eyeing a specialist right winger to add to the squad.

The former has caught the eye with his excellent dribbling skills and goal contributions at PSV, but Antony is not far behind in both aspects, and should only improve in future.

He made an impressive 46 goal contributions during his two seasons at Ajax under Ten Hag, and a reunion at Old Trafford could get the best out of him in the coming years.

Antony’s pace and being naturally left-footed makes him the perfect fit on the right wing. On the other hand, Gakpo is a right-footed left-winger. United have the position well covered.

Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial can all comfortably play in the role.

One thing is for sure that United overpaid for Antony. They were aiming to land him for around €60m in June, but ended up paying €95m plus €5m in add-ons which has emptied their budget.

There was talk of the Red Devils signing both Gakpo and Antony earlier this month, but it seems highly unlikely that the club will now meet the €50m valuation from PSV for the 23-year-old.

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