Ajax’s Antony is believed to be one of Man Utd’s key transfer targets this summer but there is one Bundesliga star who could be the perfect alternative for the club instead
It was revealed this week that Manchester United have reportedly tried to sign Ajax winger Antony. The exciting striker has been one of the Dutch champions’ star attackers this season, scoring ten goals and registering a further nine assists in all competitions.
We know United will be in the market for at least one new striker this summer, with Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial set to leave the club. The arrival of Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford could give them a huge advantage in the race to sign Antony, although Liverpool and Newcastle are also interested and the competition is expected to be tough.
It would therefore be prudent for United to draw up a list of similar alternatives should they not sign the 22-year-old. While United officials will have their own complex recruitment system to undertake such a task, we are with mirror football used Fbref’s impressive player comparison tool to identify the players who, statistically speaking, most closely compare to Antony.
Interestingly, according to the data specialists, Antony is Bayern Munich’s most exciting attacker Serge Gnabry, the player most similar to Antony.
The 26-year-old has been the subject of speculation for many months after reports surfaced back in February that he was unsure about signing a new contract with the German champions. It is believed that the attacker does not feel as valued at the club as other players of his age group and is keen to move somewhere where he can play a more important role.
Bayern have subsequently offered him an upgraded take-it-or-leave deal but he currently appears unwilling to take it, meaning the Germany international could leave for a small fee this summer or the club risks to lose him for nothing in 12 months.
United should capitalize on this situation as there is no doubt the former Arsenal man could have a significant impact on his attack under Ten Hag next season.
Gnabry, of course, has Premier League experience, although he never really realized his potential at Arsenal, where he initially thrived. He started his career after a move to Werder Bremen in 2016 where he excelled and scored 11 Bundesliga goals.
His form this season caught the attention of Bayern, who stepped in a year later and loaned him out to Hoffenheim on a season before promoting him to a key member of their squad ahead of the 2018/19 season.
Bundesliga collection via Getty)
The 26-year-old has made an impressive 104 goals in just 171 appearances for Bayern. He has presented himself as an extremely dangerous and versatile attacker who can play in different positions.
He is able to do this thanks to his lightning fast speed and dexterity, both aided by the ability to use both feet effectively. When playing on the left, it’s more common to see him launching a defense before cutting in on his preferred right foot and hitting shots on target, while on the right he’s more focused on his teammates to serve.
Gnabry’s goal record alone is impressive, but a comparison to his xG during his time in Germany underscores just how accurate he is as a finisher. In his six years in the Bundesliga, Gnabry has scored 67 goals in the competition. His xG according to Wyscout at this time is only 49.26.
This effectively means that he has scored around 17 more goals than could have been expected based on the quality of the shooting opportunities presented to him. His finishing skills could be a big reason why he’s keen to play in more central roles, which he feels hasn’t happened enough at Bayern.
United could offer him that opportunity, while from their perspective his ability to play a range of different attacking roles could prove hugely beneficial next season. It’s a move that would make a lot of sense for the Red Devils.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/man-utd-gnabry-antony-transfer-27006946 Man Utd handed golden opportunity to complete transfer of perfect Antony alternative