After being linked with a move to Old Trafford for much of the summer, Antony, who marked his United debut with a goal against Arsenal just over a week ago, completed a deadline day switch to M16 at the start of this month. He joined United in an 85.1million deal.
United manager Erik ten Hag had worked closely with Antony at Ajax following the latter's arrival at the Johan Cruyff Arena in 2020. The winger developed at a rapid rate of knots under the Dutchman and, eventually, was determined to be reunited with him at Old Trafford towards the end of the transfer window.
Ten Hag, who will be looking to see his side get back to winning ways when they face Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League on Thursday evening, quickly pinpointed Antony as his top target to strengthen United's wide options during the summer. However, the 22-year-old's career could have easily mapped out very differently had Chelsea got their way.
A few years ago, De Visser has revealed, Chelsea caught wind of Antony's development and were keen to bring him to Stamford Bridge. He has admitted that they were happy to see how he developed at Ajax and then launch a move for him.
“Together with Hans van der Zee we saw him for the first time at Brazil's youth ranks and we were both charmed by him,” said De Visser, as cited by Voetbal Primeur. “That was a few years ago, just before he went to Ajax.
“I thought he had to make an intermediate step and then Hans suggested Ajax. And then we would take him right from Ajax.
“We couldn't get him, I would have wanted him. He's a boy with poison in his backside. He sometimes crosses the line, but he comes from the favela, doesn't he?”
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