Three-time Premier League winner Dwight Yorke fears Manchester United’s transfer policies are leaving them in a tricky spot. After no goal contributions in 22 appearances across all competitions so far this season, Antony is the latest United signing to come under scrutiny.
And Yorke thinks United should get rid of the Brazilian winger – whose Old Trafford struggles have been widely mocked on social media – as soon as possible. He told Footy Accumulators: “Players like Antony will understand they’re not performing as they should.
“It’s tough for him and I feel for him, but it’s both his and the club’s responsibility if things don’t work out. The club has to move these players on as quickly as possible or else they’ll find themselves in the same position every year – having average players signed to long contracts and not contributing what we expect of them.”
When we consider big money moves Man United have made that have turned out to be lacklustre, the list is indeed worrying in recent years. Jadon Sancho is another recent case study, £73million was paid in the summer of 2021 but after public disagreements with manager Erik ten Hag, he only graced the pitch six times for United this season.
Yet Sancho looks liberated after returning on loan to Borussia Dortmund, registering an assist in his first game back. Donny van de Beek is a similarly sad story, having had his career stalled at the club despite a £35m cost.
Players of Yorke’s generation are likely to be dumbfounded by the figures paid in the modern game. In 1998, when Yorke signed for Manchester United, the Red Devils landed a proven Premier League goalscorer and future Golden Boot winner for just £12.6m.
This January transfer window, proven Premier League goalscorer Ivan Toney has had a £100m price tag put on his back by Brentford by contrast. Toney is 27 years of age, only a few months older than Yorke was when he departed Aston Villa for United.
Yorke continued: “I don’t think it’s a surprise that Kevin De Bruyne came back and delivered an assist within twenty minutes! I’m also not surprised that we’re still talking about Antony and what he brings because he cost £85million!
“There are always going to be question marks when you sign a player for that much, especially when they’re playing for a club like Man United.” Yorke even went as far to question the current culture at United, and probably has a point.
Four managers, whether caretaker, interim or permanent, have come and gone since 2018 and only one League Cup has been won in that time. With some players having their careers stalled at Old Trafford and trophies being no guarantee, it is not the same honour to join the modern-day Man United as it was under Sir Alex Ferguson.
In fact, if players want guaranteed success they might be looking to the other side of town where Manchester City have won four Premier Leagues, two FA Cups, three Football League cups, a Champions League and a FIFA World Cup since 2018. All under the stability of one manager, Pep Guardiola.
After Yorke joined Sir Alex’s United in 1998, leaving in 2002 his honours were not looking too dissimilar to a 2020s Man City player. Yorke said: “I think back to players who succeeded at Man United, and all of them were eager to write their names into the history of the club and they wanted to be a part of the setup. I’m not sure if Man United players understand that these days.”