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Rio Ferdinand warns Antony will need time to settle after Manchester United move

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‘He is NOT the finished article’: Rio Ferdinand warns Antony he will need time to settle in after completing his £84m move to Man United, as he highlights Jack Grealish’s struggle to adjust to Man City

  • Rio Ferdinand says Antony should be given time to adjust at Manchester United
  • The Ajax winger is poised to join Erik ten Hag for a £84m fee
  • Ferdinand emphasized that Jack Grealish did not immediately adapt to Manchester City

Rio Ferdinand has warned Antony may take his time to impress at Manchester United.

The highly regarded Ajax winger will go to United for £84.2 million and there will inevitably be a lot of focus on how he performs for Erik ten Hag’s side.

However, Ferdinand, who himself came to United from Leeds in 2002, outlined the pressure to move to such a big club and used the example of Jack Grealish struggling to replicate his Aston Villa form in his first season with Manchester City.

Rio Ferdinand has warned Antony will need time to adjust when he joins Manchester United

Ferdinand says the price tag and pressure could make it difficult for a new signing to adapt

Ferdinand says the price tag and pressure could make it difficult for a new signing to adapt

Speaking of Rio Ferdinand presents FIVE, said the former Red Devils defender: ‘It’s busy. These new signings, Martinez coming in, he looks like he doesn’t have a little bit of pressure on him, it’s like he hasn’t seen the price tag the way he moves at Man United. Antony, he comes in at £100 million or about that amount, [you hope] that he enters and that does not weigh heavily on his neck.

“If you look at Grealish last year, he wasn’t the same Grealish who played at Aston Villa, so it can weigh heavily. He’s won the league, so he’s happy, so it doesn’t matter, but sometimes players with high transfer fees don’t play with the freedom they had before, and that could be a few things.”

Ferdinand outlined that moving for such a substantial fee comes with a lot of pressure, while it can also take time to adjust to a new environment and culture.

Ferdinand stressed that Jack Grealish took time to adjust after signing for Manchester City

Ferdinand stressed that Jack Grealish took time to adjust after signing for Manchester City

He said: “It could be the price tag that weighs heavily and the pressure and attention of being in the spotlight, a new environment and club and culture that they are not used to, and a team line-up that they are not used to.

“Those three things are big things that come into play when you draw, but you have to have the personality and character to deal with them, that’s a big thing.”

Antony has often impressed for Ajax, but Ferdinand was only too happy to point out that the Brazilian international still has a lot to do at the age of 22.

Ferdinand also stated that he agrees with former team-mate Paul Scholes that price tags should not be considered when judging a player as they are now ‘bizarre’.

He continued: ‘Antony, people forget too, you spend that money on Antony and he’s not the finished article, 22 years old, so you’re really buying potential at 22 to go in and perform,’ so don’t expect it to come in and be absolute fire from day one.

Antony's move to United will reunite him with his former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag

Antony’s move to United will reunite him with his former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag

Scholesy said right the other day, you have to forget the price tag these days because the prices are just stupid, they’re outlandish and judge them for what they are, who they are and the timing of when they come to the club. Martinez is a bit more experienced and you look at Antony and you go, he has great potential, let’s see what he can do.”

It will be intriguing to see how Antony, who played at Ajax under Ten Hag, will fare at United, although, as Ferdinand points out, he may not necessarily be an instant hit.

Antony came over from Sao Paulo to Ajax in 2020 and then played 82 matches for the Dutch club.

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