We at Taste of Football love covering Brazilian talents. Particularly when they’re starring in their homeland and ready to make their big move to Europe. Our blog has covered articles on the likes of Reinier Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli and Bruno Guimaraes. The holy grail of South American talent continues to provide Europe with the best young talents. As well as our website with more content! Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase. As the title suggests, this article is on yet another exciting Brazilian winger, who goes by the name Antony Matheus dos Santos.
According to the ever so reliable Fabrizio Romano, Ajax were closing in on a deal for the 19 year old. A deal rising to €25 million in add-ons for the Sao Paulo attacker, who the Dutch giants view as a replacement for Hakim Ziyech. Big shoes to fill for Antony, as the Moroccan leaves Amsterdam for Stamford Bridge in the summer. Now, this deal is official with Ajax confirming it earlier today.
2019 has been a breakout season for the Sao Paulo academy product. After coming through their fabled youth system, he made his Brazilian league debut last year, making 3 appearances for the side. But this year with regular first team football, he’s impressed with 4 goals and 6 assists in 29 appearances. Good enough returns for the Ajax scouts to give the green light.
So why have Europe’s best talent spotters picked the Brazilian as their next attacking star? We’ll give you the run down:
Antony – Style of Play
At 5ft 9. Antony is everything you would expect from a Brazilian winger. Quick, skilful, a natural dribbler and of course, exciting to watch. The video really showcases his excellent ability with the ball. The way he brings it down or flicks it on effortlessly into space is a joy to watch. But more importantly, a nightmare for defenders to deal with.
The clip where he toys with the defender feinting left and right before beating him down the byline just epitomises an exciting South American attacker. It’s no wonder he gets fouled 2.8 times a game. The only way defenders can deal with his fast feet and immense close control. The Brazilian U23 international runs at defenders with his blistering pace before often cutting in on his left foot. The speed at which he can turn his man and accelerate is breathtaking. Not to mention, how quickly he makes decisions. Whether that be releasing the ball to a teammate he’s spotted, or testing the keeper from range. That quick instinct is essential at the top level of football.
Antony is an able goal scorer, averaging 2.2 shots per game in 2019. But perhaps more so a natural creator as shown by his 6 assists and 1.3 key passes per game. The Brazilian is technically gifted, having the vision to make intelligent passes to play his teammates through on goal. Also, the numerous times he delivers devastating crosses in the video really highlights the end product that he has. Something that isn’t always apparent in young wingers.
It’s clear though that like Ziyech, he’s perhaps slightly one footed. Very few of Antony’s goals are with his right and cutting in on his left could become predictable over time. In one of the clips, he prefers to open up his body and use his left foot to side foot it in, rather than drilling it into the far corner with his right. A limitation potentially, but we’ve seen plenty of one-footed players thrive. Arjen Robben of course the most notable. It just means his left foot and decision making has to be even better.
Ajax – The transfer policy kings
I’m excited by this signing. You can see the parallels between Ziyech and Antony in terms of their play style as well as technical ability. You would expect the Sao Paulo winger to fit seamlessly into their system.
If Ajax believe someone is the next big thing, you tend to trust them. The track record of their transfers speaks for itself. Not high risk either, considering they’re only reinvesting half of the Ziyech transfer fee into this 19 year old prospect. Definitely worth watching this space…
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