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Erik ten Hag responds to concerns over Man Utd winger Antony | Football

Erik ten Hag remains a huge admirer of Man Utd winger Antony (Pictures: Getty)

Erik ten Hag has dismissed concerns over the effectiveness of Manchester United and insists his £82m signing is capable of ‘killing’ opponents.

Antony has blown hot and cold in his first season at Old Trafford, showing glimpses of his potential but only scoring three goals in 17 Premier League appearances.

The 23-year-old, who played under Ten Hag at Ajax, has proved more effective in cup competitions, netting twice in United’s run to the Europa League quarter-finals and once in their run to the FA Cup semis.

A number of pundits have questioned Antony’s output this season but Ten Hag says he is ‘not concerned’ and has backed the Brazilian to become a more consistent player for the Red Devils.

‘Of course we expect forward players to not only be a threat but also have effect in the final third,’ Ten Hag said.

‘He has to work on that of course, but he’s a young player. When you see his record, he might not be scoring so much in the league but he’s scored in big cup games.

‘He scored against Real Betis – a really important goal after half-time – and he scored against Barcelona. You can’t say these are not big games.

‘If you do it in cup games, you can do it in the Premier League too. I’m not concerned about this.

‘Like all players he has to step up but he is a fighter and a very young player. He can kill opponents.

‘Everton had to bring on another player on Saturday because he was killing the left-back. But you need to do it every game and he’s capable of that.’

Ten Hag was speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League quarter-final first leg tie with Sevilla.

United, who won this competition in 2017 under Jose Mourinho, will need to overcome six-time winners Sevilla to advance to the semi-finals.

MORE : Erik ten Hag drops hint over who will replace Marcus Rashford for Man Utd

MORE : Marcel Sabitzer keen to join Manchester United on permanent transfer

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