Ajax FW Antony (Contract expires 2025)
One of the interesting things about the Mbappe saga was figuring out where he’d play positionally. To most fans, it’d ideally be on the right-wing. We’ve found so much success with Vinicius Jr. on the left wing, and Benzema isn’t being plucked from the center anytime soon, so the right-wing would have made so much sense.
Mbappe has played there before at PSG, and Real Madrid has lacked a quality right winger since Bale left for the golf range. But during this saga, it seemed as though there were reports that Mbappe preferred playing on the left or through the middle.
Again, for me a non-starter because of the importance and quality that both Vini and Benz bring to the attack. So, if Mbappe decides to play those preferred positions in Paris, that provides Madrid an opportunity to pluck some of the best right-wingers in the world today.
Although, as Madridistas, we all love what Rodrygo has done this season, there were inconstancies for most of the season. Even starting Fede in his position at times was very telling of the uncertainty of the situation. Likewise, I believe Rodrygo naturally thrives on the left wing (his preferred position).
Thus, given the uncertainty of the right-wing, enter Rodrygo’s compatriot and Ajax forward Antony.
When you watch him play at his best, you see Joga Bonito come to light, similar to what we’ve experienced with Vinicius this season.
He’d be the ideal right-winger to solidify that role for the present and future while also providing enough competition and depth for Rodrygo.
Besides a declining Asensio, Real Madrid has missed someone on the right who was left-footed that could take over the game for 90 minutes.
Beyond Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) or Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City), few options stick out, age, price, or skill-wise in this position across Europe.
Under the newly appointed Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, Antony was able to grow from a boy from São Paulo to a man in this current Ajax side. He’s a human highlight reel with his pure pace, shifty dribbling ability in tight spaces, no-look passing, and scoring celebrations.
Before his latest injury, Antony was balling out with 12 goals, ten assists, 1.6 key passes per game, 1.7 dribbles per game, and an 82.1% passing success rate in 33 appearances for Ajax.
And it just makes sense that Madrid would go for another Brazilian winger after the Mbappe deal because Papa Perez loves his Brazilians.
He has all the tools to grab hold of this position in Madrid and make it his for the foreseeable future. And given his coach is off to England, other teammates are likely being sold this summer, he’ll likely be looking for a new club sooner rather than later, and Madrid needs to take advantage and pluck him from Ajax while they can.