At the back of multiple assault allegations, Antony was dropped from Brazil’s national squad for this ongoing international break and now, Manchester United have also handed him a period of absence, as per The Athletic.
The Brazilian authorities and Greater Manchester Police are investigating the allegations and even though the winger has denied all the allegations, he is not going to return to England “until further notice”.
A club statement on Sunday afternoon read: “Manchester United acknowledges the allegations made against Antony.
“Players who have not participated in international matches are due back in training on Monday. However, it has been agreed with Antony that he will delay his return until further notice in order to address the allegations.
“As a club we condemn acts of violence and abuse. We recognise the importance of safeguarding all those involved in this situation, and acknowledge the impact these allegations have on survivors of abuse.”
Antony has also released his own statement which read: “I have agreed with Manchester United to take a period of absence while I address the allegations made against me.
“This was a mutual decision to avoid distraction to my teammates and unnecessary controversy for the club.
“I want to reiterate my innocence of the things I have been accused of, and I will fully cooperate with the police to help them reach the truth. I look forward to returning to play as soon as possible.”
Who is going to replace Antony on the right wing at Manchester United?
Manchester United had paid a lot of money to bring Antony on board from Ajax but the winger is yet to win over all the fans as well as the critics.
However, he’s played close to 50 games for the club as Erik ten Hag continues to select him in his starting line-up and the primary reason for that is the manager does not have any other world-class right-winger. But now that Antony has been given a temporary break, the problems are going to mount for Ten Hag even more.
The Manchester United manager is already dealing with a long list of injuries and the last thing he would have wanted is to lose a big-name player to an assault allegation.
Obviously, the club and the manager’s hands are tied in this matter because if they go ahead and select Antony there will be a huge backlash from the media as well as the fans so now, the only thing left for ETH to do is to look at his other alternatives.
On paper, apart from Antony, Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri are the only two recognised right-winger in the squad but Diallo is out injured and the 21-year-old is undergoing a long rehab. He is sure to miss the first half of the 23/24 season and there are fears he could be out until February or March.
This means if Antony is going to miss the next couple of matches then Ten Hag will have to either rely on Pellistri or he will have to play someone out of position. Jadon Sancho has the ability to play on the right but currently, his relationship with the manager has broken down and there are reports that Man United want to sell him off as soon as possible.
If Sancho does not mend his relationship with the manager and the coaching staff then he is not going to get game time and if that happens then there’s a big possibility that Bruno Fernandes is going to play on the right-hand side.
Last season, Bruno played some games as the right-sided forward and now that Ten Hag has brought in Amrabat, the manager can make this change without much apprehension. Amrabat and Casemiro will play as the two holding midfielders with Christian Eriksen playing as the No 10 and Fernandes out wide.
This tweak should not be a major headache for the players or the manager but it will only work if Antony is absent for only a few matches. Christian Eriksen does not have the legs to play each and every week and even Mason Mount is out injured which means Man United will have to make sure Antony is back before they enter the business end of the Champions League group stages.
In their next ten matches, Man United will play three UCL matches(one being against Bayern) plus they will also welcome Manchester City to Old Trafford and as things are shaping out, Antony is expected to miss all these important games.